What Good Health Care -- and Ryan White Funding -- Can Do
"Proper care and funding from sources like Ryan White may significantly shift health outcomes for HIV patients despite risk factors," reports the Johns Hopkins University HIV clinic. "The results from the 15-year analysis of patients at [our] clinic serving a primarily poor, African American patient population with high rates of injection drug use demonstrate what state-of-the-art HIV care can achieve, given appropriate support." The clinic's report noted, however, that patients must show up for care -- in other words, you can't expect equal benefits by staying away from medical care.
"Contemporary HIV care can markedly improve the health of persons living with HIV regardless of their gender, race, risk group, or socioeconomic status," said study author Richard D. Moore, M.D., M.H.S., of the Baltimore-based university, in a press release. According to the release, this is the first study to directly compare outcomes for patient groups defined by these variables, "often the groups affected most by healthcare disparities."
Michael S. Saag, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a longtime advocate for HIV health care funding, noted in a related editorial titled "Viva No Difference!," "The lesson learned from the remarkable outcomes within the HIV clinic at Johns Hopkins and other Ryan White-supported clinics in the U.S. is that supplemental funding for primary care is needed to overcome health disparities widely evident in our current system."
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