Biological Factors that May Contribute to Regional and Racial Disparities in HIV Prevalence
Article first published online: 12 JAN 2011
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Special Issue: Sexual Transmission of HIV in the 21st Century
Volume 65, Issue 3, pages 317–324, March 2011
How to Cite
Kaul, R., Cohen, C. R., Chege, D., Yi, T. J., Tharao, W., McKinnon, L. R., Remis, R., Anzala, O. and Kimani, J. (2011), Biological Factors that May Contribute to Regional and Racial Disparities in HIV Prevalence. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 65: 317–324. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2010.00962.x
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 12 JAN 2011
- Submitted November 26, 2010; accepted November 30, 2010.
- HIV transmission;
- male circumcision;
- mucosal immunology;
Citation Kaul R, Cohen CR, Chege D, Yi TJ, Tharao W, McKinnon LR, Remis R, Anzala O, Kimani J. Biological factors that may contribute to regional and racial disparities in HIV prevalence. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 65: 317–324
Despite tremendous regional and subregional disparities in HIV prevalence around the world, epidemiology consistently demonstrates that black communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. There are many reasons for this, and a narrow focus on socio-behavioural causes may be seen as laying blame on affected communities or individuals. HIV sexual transmission is very inefficient, and a number of biological factors are critical in determining whether an unprotected sexual exposure to HIV results in productive infection. This review will focus on ways in which biology, rather than behaviour, may contribute to regional and racial differences in HIV epidemic spread. Specific areas of focus are viral factors, host genetics, and the impact of co-infections and host immunology. Considering biological causes for these racial disparities may help to destigmatize the issue and lead to new and more effective strategies for prevention.