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Sex, race, and geography influence health outcomes following primary HIV infection
Date:1/18/2011

Women, nonwhites, and people in the southern United States who were newly infected with HIV and followed for an average of four years experienced greater HIV/AIDS-related morbidity compared to men and people of other races living in other regions of the country. The findings, published in the February 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, underscore the urgent need to improve the health of these populations in order to reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality in the U.S. (Please see below for a link to the embargoed study online.)

The researchers did not expect women to show the worst health outcomes because their viral loads were lower and CD4+ T cell counts were higher than men's following diagnosis, reported study author Amie L. Meditz, MD, of the University of Colorado- Denver. (The study was part of the Acute Infection and Early Disease Research Program, a multicenter study network funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.) However, during the course of the study (1997-2007), the frequency of HIV-related illnesses in women was more than double that of men, with nonwhite women having the most negative outcomes. After eight years of infection, HIV-related events affected 64 percent of nonwhite women, and AIDS-defining events occurred in 22 percent of nonwhite women. In comparison, HIV-related and AIDS-defining events occurred in 21 percent and 6 percent of individuals in other combined race and sex groups, respectively.

The data representing subjects from the southern U.S. show that race and region play a major role in health outcomes of both women and men infected with HIV. Eight years following their diagnosis, 78 percent of nonwhites and 37 percent of whites in the southern U.S. had experienced one or more HIV/AIDS-related event, compared to 17 percent of nonwhites and 24 percent of whites in other geographic locations.

According to the investigators, race-sex differences in respons
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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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