Sociostructural correlates of AIDS progression for african american women living with diagnoses of HIV infection in the District of Columbia

Yzette Lanier, Jenevieve Opoku, Yujiang Jia, Leigh A. Willis, Kim Elmore, Tiffany West, Anna Satcher Johnson, Madeline Y. Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Among women living with HIV infection in the District of Columbia (DC), African American women are disproportionately affected, comprising > 90% of reported cases. Sociostructural exploration of local HIV epidemics among African American women has been understudied. We explored sociostructural correlates of health for HIVinfected African American women in DC to inform local HIV prevention and intervention efforts. Methods: HIV surveillance data from the District of Columbia Department of Health for African American women living with HIV were reviewed. We analyzed data for sociostructural correlates for progressing to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (CD4 counts < 200 cells/ml) among African American women. Data were analyzed using SAS 9.2 and mapped by census tracts using ArcGIS. Results: Of 4,619 women living with HIV, 4,204 (91%) were African American; 3,050 (72.5%) had census tract information available and were included. Median age at diagnosis was 36.6 years. Among these 3,050 African American women, 1,814 (59.4%) had ever progressed to AIDS, 1,109 (36.4%) had CD4 counts < 200 cells/μl (AIDS) at most recent clinical visit, and 208 of 1,109 (18.8%) had progressed to AIDS within 12 months of their HIV diagnosis (late testers). Women who progressed to AIDS had a higher probability of being diagnosed at private facilities compared with public facilities (PR=1.1, 95% CI=1.1-1.3) and of being exposed through injection drug use (IDU) compared to being exposed through heterosexual contact (PR=1.3, 95% CI=1.2-1.5). In multivariate and geomapping analyses, poverty, education levels and census tracts were not associated with an AIDS diagnosis. Conclusion: Progression to AIDS is prevalent among HIV-infected African American women in DC. Increased, early routine HIV screening and intensified treatment efforts with African American women living with HIV infection in DC, regardless of socioeconomic status, are warranted, to improve outcomes and decrease disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1000254
JournalJournal of AIDS and Clinical Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2013


  • AIDS
  • African American
  • District of Columbia
  • HIV
  • Sociostructural determinants
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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