based on a random sample of more than 13,000 young people
ages 19-24 show that non-Hispanic blacks are 20 times
more likely to be infected with HIV compared with
other racial and ethnic groups. The participants
agreed to be tested for HIV as part of the National
Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health.
Overall, the HIV
infection rate for young U.S. adults is one case per
1,000 people. That rate jumps to 4.9 per 1,000 for blacks,
compared with 0.22 per 1,000 for all other races of
similar age, the report found.
prevalence among young adults in the United States appears
to be relatively low, the racial disparity in
prevalence "is large and established early in life,"
said Martina Morris, a sociologist at the University
of Washington-Seattle and lead author of the report.
"The size of the differential was much larger than we
expected, especially for this age group," she said.
findings parallel racial disparities for other sexually
transmitted diseases. For example, gonorrhea rates among
black youth are approximately 17 times higher, and
syphilis rates are 12 times higher.
speculate that because non-Hispanic blacks are more likely
to have concurrent partnerships, or overlapping sexual
partners, this may contribute to the spread of
disease. "A number of studies have shown that
concurrent partnerships increase the connectivity of a
transmission network, allowing for faster and more
pervasive spread of infection," said Morris. "Bottom
line: Prevention research should focus on how to
reduce the level of concurrent partnerships," she said.