This paper analyses AIDS deaths in Brazil during a period in which HAART became a key treatment regimen, exploring the hypothesis that race or colour defines one dimension of socioeconomic inequality in Brazil. AIDS mortality, stratified by gender and race or colour, was calculated using data from the Brazilian National Mortality System.

The report finds that mortality rates were highest among individuals classified as “black” and lower among those classified as “mixed-race”, with a continuous increase among the latter from 1999 to 2004 for men and women. Among individuals classified as “white”, mortality rates remained stable among men, but have increased for women. Women also appear not to have benefited from HAART as much as men. Such increases may reflect specific difficulties faced by women living with AIDS.. The paper concludes that racial differences in mortality probably reflect a combination of delayed entry into treatment, higher losses to follow-up, and/or low adherence, compared to other population groups . However, the absence of a linear gradient between whites, mixed-race, and blacks suggests that there are more subtle and complex interrelationships between colour/race and health conditions in Brazil. Further studies are needed to further explore the underlying factors that might explain different mortality rates in a
context of universal access in Brazil. [adapted from author]