Racial & Ethnic Disparities

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On a national level, CDC statistics show that HIV disproportionately affects the black population. While blacks compose approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 43 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Data from New Jersey demonstrates a similar trend, with blacks comprising around 13 percent of the population and 45 percent of New Jersey’s newly diagnosed HIV patients in 2017. Thus, faced with a higher incidence of HIV, the black community also had the highest prevalence of HIV in New Jersey, with 13 out of every 1,000 blacks living with HIV in 2017 compared to 1 out of every 1,000 whites.

However, encouraging trends are emerging. From 2008 to 2017, the number of newly diagnosed black patients has substantially decreased by around 26 percent, from 677 patients in 2008 to 504 patients in 2017, outpacing the state’s overall decrease during that time period (22%). This decrease occurred despite the overall Black population in New Jersey increasing slightly (3%) over that time period. A similar trend can be seen in regard to the number of HIV deaths in the black population, with 509 deaths in 2008 decreasing to 322 deaths in 2017. This 37 percent reduction in the number of deaths was again higher than the statewide reduction of 27 percent during that time.

While the number of new diagnoses in the black community has been steadily decreasing, the Hispanic/Latino community in New Jersey is experiencing a less robust trend. During the 2008-2017 time period, the annual number of newly diagnosed HIV patients in this group decreased only slightly (4%), while whites and blacks experienced decreases of approximately 28 percent and 26 percent, respectively. As a result, Hispanic/Latino patients made up the second largest portion of newly diagnosed patients in 2017 (35.3%), right behind the proportion of black patients (44.8%). HIV in the Hispanic/Latino community in New Jersey is therefore a growing threat.

Proportion of Newly Diagnosed HIV Patients in New Jersey

White 16.3% 14.9% -1.4%
Black 47.2% 44.8% -2.4%
Hispanic/Latino 28.9% 35.3% +6.4%
Asian 0.5% 2.8% +2.3%
All Other/Multiple Race 7.2% 2.2% -5.0%

(Starting in 2003, the HIV surveillance data presented utilizes new classification standards and the following racial/ethnic categories (each race category is non-Hispanic): American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, white and multiple races.)