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Am J Public Health. 1993 Oct;83(10):1425-8.

Race and survival time with AIDS: a synthesis of the literature.

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Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Washington, Seattle 98105.



This study summarizes the evidence concerning the association of Black and White race with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) survival time.


English-language articles measuring survival time with AIDS for Black and White persons were reviewed. Each article was assigned to one of three groups based on the method of subject accrual.


Of the nine eligible studies identified, five studies had inclusive methods of accruing study subjects, and four of these five showed decreased survival time among Black persons. In the studies with more restrictive accrual methods, survival time for Blacks was not decreased.


Although the published studies vary in their results, this variation appears to be systematic according to the method of accruing study subjects. If the accrual method serves to minimize socioeconomic differences between Blacks and Whites, there is no difference in survival time by race. However, if a more inclusive method is used, a significant decrease in AIDS survival time is observed among Blacks. This analysis suggests that, in some studies, race may function as a marker for socioeconomic factors and/or access to health care and that AIDS patients in the lowest socioeconomic or access group have significantly shorter survival times.

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