A smaller proportion of HIV-positive African Americans are in consistent medical care than whites or Latinos living with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published findings about the rates of consistent HIV care in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Between 2011 and 2013, 38 percent of African Americans living with HIV were in consistent care, defined as remaining in care for three years. By comparison, about half of whites and Latinos with the virus were in consistent care. Thirty-five percent of black males and 44 percent of black females with HIV were in care consistently. Among African Americans, the highest rates of consistent care were among those who contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.

“Consistent care matters,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a press release. “It enables people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives, and it prevents new infections. And closing this gap in care will be essential if we are to see the narrowing racial divide in HIV diagnoses close completely.”

Meanwhile, a recent CDC report on HIV diagnosis rates has shown encouraging signs of improvements among the African-American population where the spread of the virus is concerned.

To read a press release on the report, click here.

To read the report, click here.