High HIV prevalence among low-income, black women in New York City with self-reported HIV negative and unknown status

Kathleen H. Reilly, Alan Neaigus, Samuel M. Jenness, Holly Hagan, Travis Wendel, Camila Gelpí-Acosta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Black women are disproportionally affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This study investigates factors associated with newly identified HIV infection among previously self-reported HIV negative or unknown status black women living in high risk areas (HRAs) of New York City (NYC). Methods: Heterosexuals residing in or socially connected to NYC HRAs were recruited using respondent driven sampling for participation in the United States Centers for Disease Control-sponsored National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System in 2010. Eligible individuals were interviewed and offered an HIV test. The analysis reported here focused on black women with valid HIV results who did not report being HIV positive, and examined factors related to HIV infection in this group. Results: Of 153 black women who did not report being HIV positive at enrollment, 15 (9.8%) tested HIV positive. Age ≥40 years, ever injected drugs, and in the last 12 months had unprotected vaginal sex, exchange sex, last sex partner used crack, non-injection crack use, and non-injection heroin use were significantly associated with HIV infection (p<0.05). Only ever injected drugs (prevalence ratio: 5.1; 95% confidence interval: 2.0, 12.9) was retained in the final model. Conclusions: Black women who had reported being either HIV negative or unaware of their serostatus had high HIV prevalence. Efforts to identify and treat HIV positive black women in HRAs should target those with a history of injection drug use. Frequent testing for HIV should be promoted in HRAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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