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Rural Health Information Hub

Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations

Racial and ethnic minority populations living in rural areas are disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS. For example, racial and ethnic minority populations make up only 15% of the rural population, but over half of AIDS cases in rural areas are among racial/ethnic minorities.

In certain regions of the U.S. there continue to be more deaths among people diagnosed with HIV. In 2018, almost half of all deaths among people diagnosed with HIV occurred in the Southern region (which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas). Within many of these states, deaths also disproportionately impact Black communities. In 2019, Black people comprised 43% of all HIV deaths in the U.S., making it the sixth leading cause of death for Black people who are 25-34 years old.

Minorities living with HIV in the South, in particular, are also more likely to live in rural communities and more likely to face barriers to care such as poverty, limited access to HIV preventive measures such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, lack of transportation, lack of consistent care for migrant workers, and language barriers faced by recent immigrants. Cultural and linguistic diversity of communities increases the importance of offering culturally sensitive and affirming HIV prevention and treatment services. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has funded multiple rural grant programs focused on women of color and American Indians/Alaska Natives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also supporting health departments and community-based organizations in implementing prevention initiatives for African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority populations.

Resources to Learn More

Care Outcomes Among Black or African American Persons with Diagnosed HIV in Rural, Urban, and Metropolitan Areas in 2018
Disseminates information and data about disparities in HIV care outcomes, access to care, and treatment services for the Black population in rural, urban, and metropolitan areas.
Author(s): Lyons, S.J., Dailey, A.F., Chenchen, Y., & Johnson, A.S.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Date: 2/2021