Assessing HIV diagnosis and the social vulnerability index (SVI) by themes (socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and English proficiency, and housing type and transportation) might help to identify specific social factors contributing to disparities across census tracts with high rates of diagnosed HIV infection in the USA.
We examined HIV rate ratios in 2019 using data from CDC’s National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS) for Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and White persons aged ≥ 18 years. NHSS data were linked to CDC/ATSDR SVI data to compare census tracts with the lowest SVI (Q1) and highest SVI (Q4) scores. Rates and rate ratios were calculated for 4 SVI themes by sex assigned at birth for age group, transmission category, and region of residence.
In the socioeconomic theme analysis, we observed wide within-group disparity among White females with diagnosed HIV infection. In the household composition and disability theme, we observed high HIV diagnosis rates among Hispanic/Latino and White males who lived in the least socially vulnerable census tracts. In the minority status and English proficiency theme, we observed a high percentage of Hispanic/Latino adults with diagnosed HIV infection in the most socially vulnerable census tracts. In the housing type and transportation theme, we observed a high percentage of HIV diagnoses attributed to injection drug use in the most socially vulnerable census tracts.
The development and prioritization of interventions that address specific social factors contributing to disparities in HIV across census tracts with high diagnosis rates are critical to reducing new HIV infections in the USA.