HIV Prevention Interventions to Reduce Racial Disparities in the United States

Since the first cases of HIV infected people were reported in the United States 30 years ago, transmission rates for intravenous drug use and by mothers to children have gone down. However, racial minorities are being diagnosed at much higher rates than Whites—Blacks are 799 percent higher and Latinos 205 percent higher.

These researchers conducted a systematic review of interventions aimed at reducing sexual transmission of HIV among racial minorities in the United States. They found 76 articles published between 1981 and 2011 that met their criteria of addressing more than 50 percent racial minority patients. The majority of interventions targeted African American participants (80%), followed by Latinos (14%); others targeted a combination of ethnicities.

Intervention delivery methods varied and included health workers (65%) and digital delivery (21%), as well as peer delivery (14%). Half of the interventions included condom skills training, while the other half relied on didactic or interactive contact.

The researchers found interventions that incorporate teaching of specific skills necessary to initiate and maintain behavioral change, and interactive interventions were superior to those that relied on passive acquisition of knowledge. However, they found a "serious lack” of interventions that target minority men who have sex with men, and a “total lack” of interventions designed to reduce disparities.