Public Health Project Maps Prevalence of AIDS in Boston and 33 Other Cities

The maps show the neighborhoods and demographics in which HIV/AIDS is most common.

Boston map

The most recent HIV/AIDS map for Boston. Graphic provided to

A new public health project has mapped the prevalence of HIV in 34 U.S. cities, including Boston (above), to show where the virus is on the rise and which segments of the population it tends to affect most.

The project, called AIDSVu and run by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, also produces interactive online maps for each state, which can be further broken down by county and zip code. The maps also show key facts like deaths due to HIV/AIDS, patient gender ratios, and how HIV is most often contracted in that state.

In a statement, AIDSVu principal researcher and Rollins professor Patrick Sullivan says the maps could be a useful tool for future AIDS treatment and research:

“AIDSVu provides a road map for the state of the HIV epidemic, from the national level all the way down to neighborhoods. By utilizing these data and visuals, our researchers, doctors, and communities can pin-point where prevention and treatment activities are most needed to make real change and stop the spread of HIV.”

Here’s what the updated maps, which show data for 2012, the most recent year available, revealed about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Boston and Massachusetts:

  • 18,866 people in Massachusetts were living with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis as of 2012, with 992 new diagnoses in 2013.
  • 244 Massachusetts citizens died of AIDS in 2012.
  • The majority of Massachusetts’ residents with AIDS are white (43 percent), followed by black (29 percent), and Hispanic/Latino (25 percent).
  • At the end of 2012, 938 of every 100,000 people living in Suffolk County had an HIV diagnosis, the highest of any county in the state.
  • The Boston zip codes with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS were 02118 (the South End) and 02119 (Roxbury), both with at least 1,956 cases; the lowest rates were in 02132 (West Roxbury), with fewer than 108 cases.