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E. HIV/AIDS Mortality Discrepancies Between Blacks and Whites

Narrator: This is Science Today. A recent UCLA study is providing insights into HIV/AIDS mortality discrepancies among black and white American adults. Mitchell Wong, an assistant professor of medicine, reports that HIV/AIDS accounts for 11% of the gap in life expectancies.

Wong: There are several questions that are obvious, now that we've gotten some of these answers. For example, is it really blacks that are more likely to get certain diseases? Or is it that once they get a particular disease, they're more likely to die from it?

Narrator: Wong says that one explanation in the case of HIV/AIDS, is that the use of newer HIV medications has been lower among blacks-resulting in HIV mortality improving more for whites than for blacks. Wong says the gap will probably narrow as HIV treatments improve, but adds that intervention is imperative.

Wong:The question is really not so much which factors underlie the differences-it's really a matter now I think, of figuring out what's the best way to intervene.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.