Racial and Ethnic Disparities in AIDS Incidence: An Examination of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1990-2000

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WIsconsin Medical Journal

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Wisconsin Medical Society





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Context: Public health agencies have identified the elimination of health disparities as a major policy objective.

Objectives: The main goals of this study were to assess the magnitude of racial/ethnic disparities in rates of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) incidence in the metropolitan statistical area of Milwaukee, Wis, and determine how those disparities have changed over the period 1990-2000.

Methods: Incidence rates were calculated using data from the AIDS Public Information Data Set (numerators) and US Census Bureau (denominators). Rates of AIDS incidence were produced for broad demographic groups (eg, Hispanics) in Milwaukee. In addition, age-standardized incidence rates were produced for groups defined by age, sex, and race/ethnicity, permitting careful examination of trends in racial/ethnic disparities.

Results: In Milwaukee's general population, AIDS incidence dropped from 7.6 per 100,000 in 1990 to 6.4 per 100,000 in 2000 - a decline of over 15%. AIDS incidence rates also dropped for Hispanics (-41.0%) and non-Hispanic whites (-52.1%), but climbed among non-Hispanic blacks (51.1%). Disparities in AIDS incidence between non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites increased between 136% (young adult males) and 428% (young adult females) over the period.

Conclusion: Despite progress in reducing rates of AIDS incidence in Milwaukee's general population, racial/ethnic disparities widened substantially between 1990 and 2000.


Originally published by the Wisconsin Medical Society. Publisher's PDF available through remote link. Must click on corresponding publication.

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