NEW YORK (AP) — For many years, black Americans infected with the AIDS virus have died at much higher rates than whites. But the gap appears to be closing.
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.
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr