Black HIV+ Patients Have Increased Mortality Even When Treated Interview with:
Catherine R. Lesko, MPH

Department of Epidemiology
UNC School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, NC

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is a lot of evidence out there that HIV-infected minorities, and in particular, African Americans, experience higher morbidity and mortality than do their white, HIV-infected counterparts. This study looked at whether there were still differences in mortality among treated, HIV-infected adults, which was a crude attempt to control for differences in access to HIV-testing, HIV-care, and antiretroviral therapy – all things previously shown to contribute to racial disparities among people infected with HIV. Even among people who had initiated HIV therapy, we still found that black patients had a 10-year risk of mortality that was 8 percentage points greater than white patients. Hispanic patients did marginally better than white patients, but not as much better as their non-HIV-infected counterparts.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: We need to be thinking about how to reduce health disparities for everyone, but in particular for HIV-infected patients, who are heavily monitored and for whom resources are generally available to address many comorbid conditions and barriers to health. Simply putting people on HIV therapy is not sufficient to eliminate disparities in survival associated with race/ethnicity.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should focus on modifiable risk factors for mortality and use mediation analysis strategies to identify interventions most likely to reduce the observed disparities. Additionally, better data on the causes of death for this cohort might help generate hypotheses into the most fruitful paths of inquiry.


Ten-year survival by race/ethnicity and sex among treated, HIV-infected adults in the United States

Catherine R. Lesko, Stephen R. Cole, William C. Miller, Daniel Westreich, Joseph J. Eron, Adaora A. Adimora, Richard D. Moore, W. Christopher Mathews, Jeffrey N. Martin, Daniel R. Drozd, Mari M. Kitahata, Jessie K. Edwards, and Michael J. Mugavero

Clin Infect Dis. first published online March 12, 2015 doi:10.1093/cid/civ183 Interview with: Catherine R. Lesko, MPH (2015). Black HIV+ Patients Have Increased Mortality Even When Treated 

Last Updated on March 31, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD