Zip Code-Level Analysis

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With New Jersey residents living longer with HIV, nearly 8,000 inpatient admissions to New Jersey acute care hospitals in 2018 were from patients who had either asymptomatic or symptomatic HIV.

CHART examined inpatient hospital claims data to determine the most common zip codes among these patients. The top five zip codes are:

Zip CodeCityInpatients
07305 Jersey City 204
07103 Newark 191
07501 Paterson 174
07712 Asbury Park 164
08401 Atlantic City 161

Four of these zip codes (Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and Atlantic City) appear on the New Jersey DOH’s list of the top 10 cities with the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases. The remaining zip code, Asbury Park, has a much smaller population than the other cities on the list. However, Asbury Park has unique characteristics which may be contributing to a high HIV/AIDS population per capita. According to 2010 census data, Asbury Park has one of the highest rates of same sex couples per 1,000 population. In addition, drug/substance abuse may also be contributing to HIV transmission and illness in the city. Per New Jersey DOH data, of the nearly 1,000 HIV cases reported in Asbury Park since 1990, 35 percent were transmitted through injection use. This is much higher than the statewide proportion of 11 percent. Compounding this factor, city residents may face several challenges in regard to aspects of social determinants of health, which may impact their ability to prevent certain diseases and therefore avoid hospitalization, as evidenced in the table below.

GeographyMedian Household IncomePercent UnemployedPercent No HS DiplomaPercent Uninsured
07712 - Asbury Park $62,846 7.4% 10.6% 13.8%
Statewide Median $87,209 5.9% 6.9% 6.3%

Hospital claims data also showed that chronic conditions are commonly present among patients with HIV. Out of the 8,000 inpatient claims, two of the top five primary diagnosis codes were chronic conditions (COPD and kidney failure). HIV patients also have an enhanced risk of developing renal failure. Kidney problems can result from either the HIV virus itself, or through the use of ART. Some ART medications have been shown to affect kidney function; therefore, HIV patients and their physicians must balance the benefits of treatment with potential side effects. While this study cannot discern whether kidney disease among these HIV hospitalizations is a result of the virus itself or treatments, the common presence of this diagnosis helps emphasize the need for careful monitoring of kidney disease in HIV patients.