OBJECTIVES: To examine whether racial/ethnic disparities persist at the “end of the HIV epidemic” (prevalence of untreated HIV infection < 5%; HIV incidence < 0.5 per 100 person-years) among persons who inject drugs (PWID) in New York City.
METHODS: We recruited 2404 PWID entering New York City substance use treatment in 2001 to 2005 and 2011 to 2015. We conducted a structured interview, and testing for HIV and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2; a biomarker for high sexual risk). We estimated incidence by using newly diagnosed cases of HIV. Disparity analyses compared HIV, untreated HIV, HIV-HSV-2 coinfection, HIV monoinfection, and estimated HIV incidence among Whites, African Americans, and Latinos.
RESULTS: By 2011 to 2015, Whites, African Americans, and Latino/as met both criteria of our operational “end-of-the-epidemic” definition. All comparisons that included HIV-HSV-2-coinfected persons had statistically significant higher rates of HIV among racial/ethnic minorities. No comparisons limited to HIV monoinfected persons were significant.
CONCLUSIONS: “End-of-the-epidemic” criteria were met among White, African American, and Latino/a PWID in New York City, but elimination of disparities may require a greater focus on PWID with high sexual risk.
Racial/ethnic disparities at the end of an HIV epidemic: Persons who inject drugs in New York City, 2011-2015
American Journal of Public Health, 107 (7), 1153-1163. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303787. PMCID: PMC5463217.