WDEL's Delaware HealthWatch
with Frank Gerace

HIV and nationality

Can where someone comes from play a role in how their HIV infection is treated?

A recent study says the answer may be "yes."

For people from foreign countries living in the U.S., language or cultural barriers often make it difficult to get information about HIV testing, treatment and prevention.

A recent study shows differences in risk factors and other characteristics between U.S. and foreign-born people diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS.

Dr. Adria Prosser: "Foreign-born persons diagnosed with HIV are slightly different from their US counterparts in terms of race ethnicity, risk factor, as well as their stage of disease."

Dr. Prosser and her colleagues at the CDC compared data from U.S. and foreign-born people diagnosed with HIV between 2007 and 2010.

Of the more than 191,000 study subjects, about 31,000 were born outside the U.S., and Doctor Prosser says as a group, the foreign-born subjects were demographically different from their American-born counterparts.

Dr. Prosser: "Overall, they were more likely to be Hispanic, Asian, as well as more likely to be infected through heterosexual contact."

The study appeared initially in the online version of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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