Journal Articles

Publication Date



Lancet Regional Health Americas


BACKGROUND: Preventing HIV infection remains a critically important tool in the continuing fight against HIV/AIDS. The primary aim is to evaluate the effect and interactions between a composite area-level social determinants of health measure and an area-level measure of residential segregation on the risk of HIV/AIDS in U.S. Veterans.

METHODS: Using the individual-level patient data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, we constructed a case-control study of veterans living with HIV/AIDS (VLWH) and age-, sex assigned at birth- and index date-matched controls. We geocoded patient's residential address to ascertain their neighborhood and linked their information to two measures of neighborhood-level disadvantage: area deprivation index (ADI) and isolation index (ISOL). We used logistic regression to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for comparing VLWH with matched controls. We performed analyses for the entire U.S. and separately for each U.S. Census division.

FINDINGS: Overall, living in minority-segregated neighborhoods was associated with a higher risk of HIV (OR: 1.88 (95% CI: 1.79-1.97) while living in higher ADI neighborhoods was associated with a lower risk of HIV (OR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.84-0.92). The association between living in a higher ADI neighborhood and HIV was inconsistent across divisions, while living in minority-segregated neighborhoods was consistently associated with increased risk across all divisions. In the interaction model, individuals from low ADI and high ISOL neighborhoods had a higher risk of HIV in three divisions: East South Central; West South Central, and Pacific.

INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that residential segregation may prevent people in disadvantaged neighborhoods from protecting themselves from HIV independent from access to health care. There is the need to advance knowledge about the neighborhood-level social-structural factors that influence HIV vulnerability toward developing interventions needed to achieve the goal of ending the HIV epidemic.

FUNDING: US National Cancer Institute.


HIV, Racial segregation, United States, Epidemiology



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