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Elevated Risk of Death for African Americans with AIDS, San Francisco, 1996-2002

Disparities in survival among people with AIDS continue in the treatment era, with a higher rate of death among African Americans than among Whites, Latinos, and Asians/Pacific Islanders (API). Few studies have been able to identify underlying reasons for this disparity. The authors' objectives were to determine the extent of disparities in AIDS-related death by race/ethnicity, and examine factors that may contribute to or explain these differences. Using San Francisco surveillance data, racial/ethnic differences in survival among residents diagnosed with AIDS between 1996 and 2002 were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazards regression techniques. The data confirm that a disparity in survival after AIDS persists between African Americans and Whites, Latinos, and APIs in San Francisco. Underlying causes of this disparity are multiple, but many of them are amenable to intervention and should be addressed.