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Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of American Indian/Alaska Native Adults in HIV Care — Medical Monitoring Project, United States, 2011–2015
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    The rate of diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in 2016 (10.2 per 100,000 population) was the fourth highest among seven racial/ethnic groups in the United States (1); the number of diagnoses of HIV infection among AI/AN persons increased by 70%, from 143 in 2011 to 243 in 2016 (1). However, little has been published about the sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics of AI/AN patients with HIV infection in care because small sample sizes have led to infrequent analysis of AI/AN-specific estimates (2) and because of underestimation of AI/AN race/ethnicity in surveillance and other data sources (3). CDC analyzed data from the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP), a surveillance system that collects information about the experiences and needs of persons with diagnosed HIV infection, collected during 2011-2015 among AI/AN adults receiving HIV medical care. The results indicated that 64% of AI/AN patients with HIV infection in care achieved sustained viral suppression, and 76% achieved viral suppression at their most recent viral load test within the past 12 months, which is below the national HIV prevention goal of 80%, but comparable to or better than some other racial/ethnic groups (4). Based on self-report, 51% of AI/AN patients with HIV infection had incomes at or below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) annual poverty limit, 27% had symptoms of depression, 78% reported internalized HIV-related stigma, and 20% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. To improve the health of AI/AN patients with HIV infection, it is important that health care providers, tribal organizations, and state and local health departments consider the sociodemographic and behavioral barriers to AI/AN patients with HIV infection achieving viral suppression and design care plans that seek to eliminate those barriers.

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