View the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HIV by race and ethnicity.
HIV is a public health issue among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people, who represent about 1.7% of the US population. Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, AI/AN ranked fifth in estimated rates of HIV diagnoses in 2021*, with lower rates than Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders, and people reporting multiple races, but higher rates than among Asians and Whites.
Key Statistics about HIV Among American Indian/Alaska Native People
- In 2021, there were 223 new diagnoses of HIV infection among AI/AN people.
- The number of new diagnoses in 2021 represents an increase of 18% (34 new diagnoses) from 2020 and 7.2% (15 new diagnoses) from 2017.
- Males accounted for 79% (177) of all new diagnoses, an increase of 19% (28 new diagnoses) from 2020 and 18% (27 new diagnoses) from 2017.
- Women accounted for 21% (46) of all new diagnoses, an increase of 15% (6 new diagnoses) from 2020 and 7% (3 new diagnoses) from 2017.
- 25-34-year-olds (70 new diagnoses) and 35-44-year-olds (50 new diagnoses) accounted for 54% of all new HIV diagnoses.
- The primary transmission mode among men is male-to-male sexual contact; among women, the primary method of transmission is heterosexual contact.
- In 2021, out of every 100 AI/AN persons living with HIV, an estimated 80 persons knew their HIV status – the lowest of any racial/ethnic group
- In 2021, out of every 100 AI/AN persons with diagnosed HIV, 75 persons received some care, 52 persons were retained in care, and 64 persons had achieved viral suppression – on par with Blacks/African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders but below their White and Asian counterparts. View graphic at CDC.gov
Disparities in HIV Experienced by American Indian/Alaska Native People
- In 2021, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among AI/AN persons was 10.9 (per 100,000 population), more than twice the rate of 5.3 (per 100,000 population) experienced by Whites.
- Between 2017 and 2021, new HIV diagnoses among AI/AN persons increased by 16%, making them the only group other than Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders to see an increase, as shown by the CDC graphic.
- In 2021, AI/AN persons had the lowest level of knowledge of HIV status than any other racial or ethnic group.
- The rate of diagnosis of HIV infection among AI/AN women (4.4%) is over twice as high as the rate of diagnosis among White women (1.8%).
- In 2021, AI/AN women diagnosed with HIV had the highest percentage of HIV infections attributable to injection drug use – more than any other racial or ethnic group, as shown in this CDC graphic.
- AI/AN men who have sex with men (MSM) were one of the two racial/ethnic groups to see a decrease in the percentage of those virally suppressed from 67.3% in 2017 to 66.8% in 2021.
HIV Diagnoses Among American Indian/Alaska Native People in the US by Transmission Category and Sex at Birth* , 2021 – United States
The terms male-to-male sexual contact (MSM) and male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (MSM/IDU) are used in CDC surveillance systems. They indicate the behaviors that transmit HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality.
*The Indian Health Service does not currently have data for mode of transmission by gender
Additional Data Resources
AtlasPlus – an interactive tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that gives users the ability to create customized tables, maps, and charts using nearly 20 years of CDC's surveillance data on HIV, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB. AtlasPlus also provides access to indicators on social determinants of health (SDOH) allowing users to view social and economic data in conjunction with surveillance data for each disease.
America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD) – an interactive tool developed by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health that displays national progress toward meeting the goals of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. Users can filter CDC data by race/ethnicity, age, sex at birth, gender and mode of HIV transmission for the six EHE indicators.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Compass Dashboard – an interactive tool developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that allows users to visualize the reach, impact, and outcomes of the RWHAP. The dashboard provides a look at national-, state-, and metro area-level data and allows users to explore RWHAP client characteristics and outcomes, including age, housing status, transmission category, and viral suppression. The RWHAP Compass Dashboard also visualizes information about RWHAP services received and characteristics of those clients accessing the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
HIV by Race and Ethnicity – While HIV affects all races and ethnicities in the United States and dependent areas, some groups are disproportionately affected compared to their population size. Get the latest data from CDC on HIV by race and ethnicity.
*Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are based on calculations made using data from CDC's AtlasPlus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus .