Access to regular HIV care and disease progression among black African immigrants

J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Dec;101(12):1230-6. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)31134-2.


Objective: To describe the characteristics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected black African immigrants living in King County, Washington, we evaluated delay in HIV diagnosis, access to HIV care, and risk of progression to AIDS or death.

Methods: We compared differences in the risk of progression to AIDS or death between HIV-positive African-born black individuals and 2 groups of HIV-positive US-born individuals.

Results: There were significant differences across the groups in residence at time of HIV diagnosis, gender, HIV transmission category, and initial CD4 count. Black Africans were more likely to present with an AIDS diagnosis (45%), compared to both US-born nonblacks (25%) and US-born blacks (35%). No significant independent associations were observed in rates of HIV disease progression when black African immigrants were compared to their US-born counterparts.

Conclusions: Once having initiated HIV care, African-born blacks accessed HIV care and progressed to AIDS at similar rates compared to US-born individuals. However, African-born blacks initiated care with more advanced HIV disease. Results underscore the need for health interventions promoting HIV testing among black African immigrants and reducing barriers to HIV testing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / ethnology
  • Adult
  • Blacks*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disease Progression
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Washington / epidemiology