African Americans Less Likely to Adhere to Antiretroviral Therapy, and Untreated Depression May Be a Factor
May 8, 2012
Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that African Americans are less likely to adhere to their HIV meds compared to other people living with HIV/AIDS. Fewer than 30 percent of the African Americans living with HIV/AIDS who participated in the study had "optimal" adherence, compared to 40 percent of HIV-positive participants of other races and ethnicities. "Optimal" adherence was defined as adhering to meds more than 90 percent of the time.
The study cites past research that has found African-Americans living with HIV/AIDS have less access to quality health care, distrust the medical community more, and wait longer to start treatment than their white counterparts. But lead researcher Rajesh Balkrishnan believes that untreated depression rates may also play a role in why these disparities exist.
While across the board depression plays a factor in adherence regardless of race and socioeconomic status, Balkrishnan and his team found that African Americans had a 10 percent higher incidence of depression. Of the 7034 participants, more than 4,600 were black, and nearly half reported suffering from depression.
The good news is that antidepressant treatment nearly doubled the odds of optimal ART adherence among patients of all races who reported depression, Balkrishnan says. ...
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.
Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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