Blacks living with HIV in the United States are 40 percent less likely to maintain 100 percent adherence to their antiretroviral regimens compared with white HIV-positive people and have an average adherence rate that is 11 percent lower than that documented for white subjects, according to an analysis of 13 studies involving more than 1,800 participants. According to the paper published in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS),  average adherence rates—most patients in these studies were using twice-daily regimens—were 72 percent among whites, 61 percent among blacks and 69 percent among Latinos. Though lead author Jane Simoni, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle and her colleagues could not readily explain the disparities, they offered that experiences of racial discrimination, conspiracy beliefs and poor health literacy among many blacks living with HIV may contribute significantly to poor adherence. "The findings [of this study] may help to explain the worse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities with HIV in the United States and suggest a need for interventions targeting their adherence to achieve the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy goal to reduce HIV-related health disparities,” the authors conclude. "There is a need for more research on the mechanisms of these racial/ethnic disparities to inform intervention development and better address these inequities.”

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