What are the statistics on Hispanic females living with HIV in Bexar County, Texas?

Expert Answers
kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Statistics on Hispanic females residing in Bexar County, Texas, diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and with the disease that often results from that diagnoses, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, can be difficult to find, but the data is available if one digs hard enough into the available literature. Much of the information available on ethnicity and gender distinctions does not get sufficiently specific to provide the answer to the student's question. For example, a December 2014 report by the State of Texas Department of Health Services noted that, in general terms:


"In 2013, the majority of PLWH [People Living with HIV/AIDS] in Texas were racial and ethnic minorities, with 34 percent of the living cases among Blacks and 30 percent among Hispanics. Minorities also made up most of the new HIV diagnoses in 2013, with Black and Hispanic Texans comprising about 38 percent and 35 percent, respectively. When cases diagnosed in 2013 are stratified by race/ethnicity and sex, further differences are seen. Among men diagnosed in 2013, Hispanics make up almost 40 percent and Blacks about 33 percent of the new cases. Among women diagnosed in 2013, Blacks made up 61 percent of the cases."

So, as you can see, the most authoritative data provided by the State of Texas does not provide data specific to Hispanic females. Chapter IV of that report, however, titled "HIV in Texas,"  does provide some useful data specific to Bexar County, with a chart on page 114 (a link to this report is provided below) showing the number of people, by county, diagnosed with HIV from 2009 to 2013. The first three-digit number is the number of HIV cases in Bexar County, Texas, for each of the years covered. The second figure for each column (i.e., the two-digit percentile) represents the rates of infection as a percentage of the state total:

County          Number Rate† Number Rate† Number Rate† Number Rate† Number Rate†

Bexar County 318 18.9 306 17.8 334 19.0 341 19.1 380 20.9

On page 140 of the Bexar County Community Health Assessment, a link to which is also provided below, there is a graph displaying Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (STD), including HIV data by gender, but not by ethnicity. Covering the years 2009 to 2011, a note accompanying this graph states: "Syphilis, HIV and AIDS cases were also substantially higher among Hispanics than among Whites and Blacks over this time period." On the following page, a similar graph shows STD rates by ethnicity, including Hispanics, but not gender. 

Another source consulted, The Culture and Policy Institute of the University of Texas, San Antonio, in its report Providing Services for Those in Need: The Politics of AIDS in Bexar County, reported the following:

"Demographically, case surveillance data for Bexar County indicate there have been a disproportionate number of Hispanics living with AIDS: 45% were Hispanic, 44% White, non-Hispanic, and 11% Black."

Again, no data specific to Hispanic females is provided. 

The best source of data located on HIV rates among Hispanic females in Bexar County, Texas, then, can be found on the series of charts produced by Cara (C.J.) Hausler, Epidemiologist and Assistant Program Manager for the Communicable Disease Program (STD/HIV/TB) at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District in San Antonio, Texas. In her series of briefing slides, Dr. Hausler includes one titled "HIV Infection Diagnoses Rates, Female by Race/Ethnicity, Bexar County, 2008-2013" [See: HIV Infection Epidemiology in Bexar County 2004-2013, file:///C:/Users/OMX/Downloads/HauslerC_Poster.pdf]. According to the data provided on this particular chart, in 2013, there were 3.6 Hispanic females in Bexar County, Texas, diagnosed with HIV for every 100,000 people residing in the county. The total population of Bexar County in 2013 was 1.818 million people. These numbers represent the best data located on Hispanic females with HIV in this particular county.