Experts said the findings of this and other studies can guide prevention efforts.
“Clearly, if we are to make a dent in this epidemic, we need to focus on those low-income community residents,” said Paula Frew, an AIDS researcher who is an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University.
The study also examined HIV by race. Nationally, the prevalence of HIV among blacks is more than 8 times the rate among whites. But in the high-poverty communities studied, differences in HIV rates by race were minimal. That may suggest that poverty-related factors are driving at least some of the differences at the national level, Denning said. Blacks are about four times as likely as whites to live in low-income areas such as those included in the study.
The study was based on data collected through the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.
CDC: HIV statistics at a glance
CDC: HIV / AIDS among African-Americans
AJC Series: The Silent Epidemic - Black gay men and HIV