The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says the infection rate is 10 to 20 times greater than that in the general U.S. population.
The analysis, using data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, shows that low socioeconomic status is a key factor associated with HIV infection among inner-city heterosexuals.
"HIV prevalence was higher among those with low socioeconomic status based on income, education, or employment," the report says. "This relationship between HIV prevalence and socioeconomic status could not be attributed to factors commonly associated with HIV infection risk in heterosexuals, such as using crack cocaine, having an exchange sex partner, or being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease."
Preliminary results were previously presented at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna last month.