Disparities Core

The Disparities Core of the San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) is part of a new effort funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program(CHRP) to curb the HIV epidemic in California by creating unique interventions tailored to hard-to-reach, vulnerable, and/or under-served populations.

In California, significant health disparities exist across the HIV continuum of care. Persons living with HIV—who are among the most vulnerable and underserved populations—face severe stigma and encounter other socio-structural barriers that poorly impacts their care along the HIV treatment cascade.

Specifically in San Diego County, the populations greatly impacted by health disparities, particular to HIV, include Black/African Americans (AA) and women.

AA men and women represent 5% of the county’s population, yet make up 12.6% of individuals diagnosed with AIDS in the country. Furthermore, approximately, 75% of HIV positive AAs achieve viral suppression medication versus 90% of HIV positive Whites and Hispanics. Lower rates are even reported for AA women (73%) and AA transgender persons (57%). Women have unmet health, wellness, and prevention needs. The rate of AIDS is almost 8 and 2 times higher among AA women and Latina women, respectively, when compared to White women. An estimated 55% of women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) do not access HIV medical care. Existing literature suggests syndemic-related factors affect engagement of WLHA in HIV medical care.

The foremost goal of the Disparities Core is to increase access to and retention in HIV care for the most vulnerable and under-served populations in our communities through collaborative partnerships within San Diego County.

The mission of the Disparities Core is to decrease disparities across the HIV care and treatment continuum in San Diego County by:

  • Developing and evaluating innovative interventions for target, vulnerable and at-risk populations;
  • Providing community education and involvement from academic researchers, community-based organizations, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, and people living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Implementing and providing sustainable core services;
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with San Diego CFAR Cores and University of California CFARs;
  • Providing collaborative mentoring for junior investigators.


At a Glance