Health

Gap in US Deaths Narrows for Blacks, Whites with HIV

In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,in Atlanta. The agency released its first progress report Thursday, and CDC officials said they're mostly pleased. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The gap appears to be closing between death rates for black and white Americans infected with the AIDS virus.

A new report says the death rate for blacks with HIV dropped 28 percent over five years. The rate also fell, though not as dramatically, for whites and for people who identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino.

In 2012 — the most recent year in the analysis — the death rate per 1,000 HIV-infected people was 20.5 for blacks, 18 for whites and 14 for Hispanics.

Blacks are infected with HIV at higher rates than other Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the new numbers Thursday.

The government tracks Americans with HIV, including those 13 or older at the time of death. Many deaths are from HIV and related illnesses, but the tally includes others causes — like car accidents.

Because of that, it’s difficult to say exactly why deaths fell more dramatically in HIV-infected blacks. But health officials believe they’ve had more success in recent years diagnosing and treating HIV in blacks.

In 2012, 8,165 blacks with HIV died, more than whites and Hispanics combined.

___

Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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