April 26, 2013
This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report that focuses on census tract-level social determinants of health (SDH) among adults diagnosed with HIV infection. The term "social determinants of health" refers to the overlapping social structures and economic systems (e.g., social environment, physical environment, health services, and structural and societal factors) that are responsible for most health inequities. Addressing the SDH that adversely affect health outcomes may help advance efforts to reduce disparities in HIV diagnosis rates between populations. The report, the first of its kind, covers the time period 2005-2009 in 18 jurisdictions. The areas are 13 states, Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Los Angeles County; New York City; and San Francisco. Among the states are New York, Illinois (but not Chicago), Minnesota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The report's data do not represent all of the diagnosed adult HIV cases during the time period in the 18 areas. The data are only from cases where an individual's residence in a census tract was known and census-tract level data on social determinants was available for the full time period. The SDH indicators included in the report are federal poverty status, education level, median household income, and employment status.
The full report can be found here.
Readers of the report are urged to read the "Commentary" and "Technical Notes" sections to understand better the limitations of the data.
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