The proportion of poor African-American women accessing health care and HIV testing is rising in high AIDS prevalence areas, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP) reports. However, rates of risky sex among the population are increasing as well.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data on heterosexual African-American women living at or below the poverty level, drawn from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) studies from 2006, 2010 and 2013. The NHBS covers more than 20 cities with high AIDS prevalence. The researchers presented their findings at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

Over the time period analyzed, the proportion of black women who had ever been tested for HIV increased from below 80 percent to above 80 percent. Those with health insurance increased from about 60 percent to nearly 80 percent. And those who had visited a health care provider in the past year increased from below 80 percent to above 80 percent.

On the downside, risky sex rose among the population. Those who reported condomless vaginal sex the last time they had sex increased from below 80 percent to above 80 percent. Those who reported condomless anal sex the last time they had sex went from 8 percent to 13 percent to 10 percent in 2006, 2010 and 2013, respectively. Those who reported three or more sexual partners in the past year rose from below 40 percent to above 40 percent. Those who reported that their last sexual encounter was with a man who had ever had sex with another man rose from 3 percent to 4 percent to 8 percent. And those who said their most recent sexual partner had ever injected drugs rose from 11 percent in 2010 to 13 percent in 2013.

The researchers cautioned that the study population is not necessarily representative of all African-American women.

To view the conference poster, click here.

To read the NATAP report, click here.