AIDS mortality, "race or color", and social inequality in a context of universal access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Brazil, 1999-2004

Cad Saude Publica. 2007;23 Suppl 3:S445-55. doi: 10.1590/s0102-311x2007001500012.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to a substantial increase in the survival of people living with AIDS, despite heterogeneities among individuals from different socioeconomic strata. The present paper analyzes AIDS deaths in Brazil during a period in which HAART became a key treatment regimen, exploring the hypothesis that "race or color" defines one dimension of socioeconomic inequality in Brazil. AIDS mortality, stratified by gender and "race or color", was calculated using data from the National Mortality System. The rates were highest among individuals classified as "black" and lower among those classified as "mixed-race", with a continuous increase among the later from 1999 to 2004 for men and women. Among individuals classified as "white", mortality rates remained stable among men, but not women. Median age at death among "mixed-race" individuals was lower for both men and women. Differential trends according to gender and "race or color" were highlighted by the present study, indicating the pressing need to further explore the underlying factors that might explain different mortality rates in a context of universal access.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups*
  • Skin Pigmentation*
  • Social Justice*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Analysis