Reuters Health (10.10.12)
A new study shows that African Americans and less educated Americans have not seen the same improved survival rates from new drug treatments as others, suggesting differences in access to available treatments. Edgar Simard, lead author and senior epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, says that although “there have been substantial declines” in deaths from HIV, “not everyone has benefitted equally from the drugs that have been available” in the last several years.
The authors of the study noted that while HIV dropped to the 24th leading cause of death for whites, it rose to the ninth leading cause of death for blacks. Collecting data from 26 states, the researchers analyzed HIV-attributed death rates for 91,307 white, black, and Hispanic men and women between the ages of 25 and 64 years of age. Although death rates for the poorest black men fell by more than half, they are still higher than the rates that the poorest white men began with in the 1990s. Overall, disparities between the most and least educated individuals have widened, and the report highlights black men and minority women—especially those who are poor—as the populations that are most vulnerable to death from HIV.