Original Article

Social Theory & Health

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 83-94

First online:

HIV: The invisible epidemic of the United States healthcare system

  • Robert J SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Ottawa Email author 
  • , B D AggarwalaAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Calgary

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We argue that the HIV epidemic in the United States is considerably more widespread than is officially reported. The occasional reports of outbreaks in cities like Washington DC, comparison with other countries in the developed world and our mathematical models, all point to the conclusion that the number of people living with HIV, but not AIDS, in the United States is more than four times larger than the current estimate. Although there are many reasons that HIV-positive individuals may not be aware of their serostatus, we argue that the United States healthcare system provides an additional pressure that simultaneously discriminates against and ignores the very people it should be targeting most.


HIV health care disparity mathematical model