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For Immediate Release
Contact: For copies of articles, call APHA Communications at  202-777-2511 or email us.

News from the 2009 April Supplement, American Journal of Public Health

American Journal of Public Health Highlights:


  • Disparities exist among races in AIDS mortality
  • Victims of child maltreatment have increased risk for STDs


Disparities exist among races in AIDS mortality

A new study concludes that race disparities exist in AIDS mortality and that the risk of death is higher for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites.

Researchers examined the correlations between survival and race/ethnicity, age and gender among persons who died from AIDS-related causes. The sample consisted of 11,022 persons diagnosed with AIDS reported through 2003 to the Chicago Department of Public Health. They found increased survival times with AIDS for all race/ethnicity groups after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) became available. However, the rate at which survival improved was not uniform. The hazard of death due to AIDS between 1996-2001 was 51% higher for non-Hispanics blacks and 22% higher for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites.

“Enhancing efforts to prevent HIV-infected individuals from infecting susceptible individuals and developing new interventions to increase early recognition of disease and to remove barriers to accessing care will help Chicago’s disadvantaged population achieve even greater increases in survival,” the study’s authors stated. “Effective community-level interventions to reduce health disparities require public engagement and support.”

[From: “Demographic Characteristics and Survival with AIDS: Health Disparities in Chicago, 1993-2001.” Contact: G. Woldemichael, Department of Public Health, Chicago, Ill.,].


Victims of child maltreatment have increased risk for STDs

Researchers have found evidence that child physical and sexual abuse of children increases their risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) later in life.


Researchers examined the associations between the experience of abuse in childhood and the risk in adulthood of having sexually transmitted diseases. They did this by matching children ages 0 to 11 years, who were victims of child abuse or neglect from 1967 to 1971, with a control group of children who had not been maltreated; both groups were then tracked into adulthood. Medical status examinations were performed when the 754 participants were approximately 41 years old to gather information about lifetime history of sexually transmitted diseases. They discovered that both childhood sexual abuse and childhood physical abuse increased the risk for having more than one type of sexually transmitted disease. In addition, sexual abuse increased risk for more any type of sexually transmitted disease.


“Our findings contribute to a growing body of literature that recognizes child abuse as a risk factor for later health consequences and indicate that gender and race differences should be considered in these relationships,” the study’s authors claim. 

[From: “Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Abused and Neglected Children Grown Up: A 30-Year Prospective Study” Contact: Helen W. Wilson, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, I.L.,].  

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