• HIV Rates in the State of Georgia: A Growing Threat among Predominantly African American Populations

      Raychowdhury, Swati; Tedders, Stuart H.; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2009)
      Background: US rates of HIV/AIDS continue to rise with over 55% of new cases identified in southern states in 2003. The objective of this study was to determine the magnitude of HIV/AIDS cases in rural southeast Georgia in comparison to urban areas of the state. Methods: County level data was acquired using OASIS. Rates of HIV infections by gender and race (black vs. white) were aggregated over a five year period (2000–2005) and indirectly adjusted using Georgia as the standard. Rates for rural counties, (populations less than 35,000), were statistically compared to urban rates (α = 0.05). Results: HIV infections in urban counties were significantly higher as compared to rural counties. Statistically high infection rates in urban areas were also evident when controlling race and gender. Black males and black females in urban counties were the groups most heavily impacted. Conclusions: HIV/AIDS is an increasingly complex problem throughout the state of Georgia. Although urban areas continue to be significantly impacted, HIV infections among rural populations, especially black residents, represent a serious and growing threat.
    • Social and Economic Determinants of Infant Ill Health in 159 Georgia Counties: A Comparison Study

      Peden, Angela; Scott, Alison; Peden, John G.; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2009)
      Prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) are important causes of infant morbidity in Georgia and the United States. Georgia county-level data were used to explore the relationships between prematurity and LBW and two social and economic determinants of health: race and poverty status. Spearman rank correlations and Friedman and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used. Prematurity and LBW were positively associated with poverty status and the presence of large African American populations. While causation cannot be inferred from correlative data, this analysis highlights the need to consider the role of social and economic factors in infant morbidity. It also highlights the need to target interventions and services to geographic areas most in need.