Health disparities are differences in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of a disease and the related adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups. These groups may be characterized by gender, age, race or ethnicity, education, income, social class, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation. These health disparities are one reason why HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB take a greater toll in one population group over another. Find information about how these diseases affect Asian populations.


In 2018, Asians made up 6% of the American population and accounted for 2% of new HIV diagnoses. Asian American rates of HIV are very low compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas in 2018, 2% were among Asians.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)


Asian man with two Asian youths

In 2018, the rate of reported chlamydia cases among Asians was 132.1 cases per 100,000 population. The overall rate of reported chlamydia cases among Whites was 1.6 times the rate among Asians.


In 2018, the rate of reported gonorrhea cases among Asians (35.1 cases per 100,000 population) was 0.5 times the rate among Whites. This difference was larger for Asian females (0.3 times the rate among White females) than for Asian males (0.7 times the rate among White males). In 2018, gonorrhea rates among Asians were lower than rates among Whites in all four regions of the United States.

Primary and Secondary Syphilis

In 2018, the rate of reported P&S syphilis cases among Asians was 0.8 times the rate among Whites (4.6 versus 6.0 cases per 100,000 population, respectively). This disparity was greater for Asian females (0.3 times the rate among White females) than for Asian males (0.9 times the rate among White males). Similar disparities were seen in all regions of the United States.

Congenital Syphilis

From 2014 to 2018, the rate of reported congenital syphilis increased 31.4% among Asian/Pacific Islanders (7.0 to 9.2 cases per 100,000 live births). In 2018, the rate of congenital syphilis for Asian/Pacific Islanders was 0.7 times the rate for Whites (9.2 cases versus 13.5 cases per 100, 000 live births, respectively).

Asian couple

Viral Hepatitis

In 2018, there were 1,649 death certificates among US residents that listed hepatitis B as the underlying or a contributing cause of death. Asians/Pacific Islanders have historically experienced the highest hepatitis B-related mortality rates, and the age-adjusted death rate for this group increased from 2015 to 2017.  Of the 1,649 hepatitis B-related death in 2018, 760 (46.1%) were to  Asians/Pacific Islanders, resulting in the highest death rate among race/ethnic groups at 2.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

Tuberculosis (TB)

In 2018, 87% of all reported TB cases occurred in racial and ethnic minorities. TB disease was reported in 3,190 Asians in the United States, accounting for 35% of all people reported with TB disease nationally. The rate of TB disease in Asians was 17 cases per 100,000, which is 31 times higher than the rate of TB disease in non-Hispanic whites (0.5 cases per 100,000 population). Asians born outside the United States represented 48% of the TB cases among non-U.S.-born persons in 2018. Overall, 9,025 TB cases were reported to CDC from the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2018.

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Page last reviewed: September 14, 2020