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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 half of AIDS cases in rural areas are among African Americans. In addition, Hispanics/Latinos make up 23% of new HIV diagnoses and African Americans account for 45% of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S.

Deaths from HIV/AIDS are highest in Southern region of the U.S. (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas), and disproportionately impact black communities. According to a Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative report, as of 2013, HIV/AIDS was the ninth leading cause of death for black men and the 12th leading cause of death for black women.

Minorities may also face barriers to care such as poverty, 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

HIV and American Indians/Alaska Natives
Fact sheet providing data on the estimated diagnoses of HIV among adult and adolescent American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) by transmission category. Describes specific risk factors and challenges. Identifies some of the initiatives and programs that the CDC and its partners are pursuing to address the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and to target the AI/AN population.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 4/2020

HIV/AIDS in Rural America: Disproportionate Impact on Minority and Multicultural Populations
Policy brief that discusses the challenges inherent in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in rural America. Includes HIV policy recommendations to address problems specific to rural areas and other resources and suggestions.
Organization(s): National Rural Health Association
Date: 4/2014