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Black infants much more likely to be born with HIV than whites

Category: HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos

According to a recent government study, the rates of HIV transmission between mother and infant among blacks are considerably higher than whites.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed HIV data from 2004 to 2007. They found that the overall rate of diagnoses of HIV infection among children a year old or younger was 2.7 per 100,000 births, a decrease of more than 90 percent over the last decade.

However, the rate among blacks is 12.3 per 100,000 births, compared to 2.0 for Hispanic children and 0.5 for white infants, according to Med Page Today.

The authors note that while black and Hispanic infants under the age of one only represent 37 percent of the population, they account for 85 percent of transmitted HIV infection among children their age, Health Day reports.

The CDC did indicate, however, that the study was limited by only being conducted in 34 states, not including California and Washington D.C., two areas with extremely high rates of HIV infection.

"Primary HIV prevention in women is the best way to prevent HIV infection in children," conclude the authors of the study. "All women with HIV infection should have reliable access to comprehensive HIV treatment and primary women's health care to optimize their health before pregnancy"

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