Study Finds HIV Specialists More Likely to Recommend Appropriate Care
A study published in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine by Academy member Valerie E. Stone, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues suggests that generalist physicians and those with little experience in treating HIV need expert advice to deal with the increasingly complex treatment options.
"Based on the data presented here, generalists in several high-HIV-prevalence states may not be prepared to provide state-of-the-art care for those with HIV/AIDS," says Dr. Stone.
According to the study results, physicians with less HIV experience, regardless of specialty, were less likely to choose recommended therapies and recommend treatments consistent with guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
"It should be emphasized that the generalists with moderate to high HIV experience in this study had high levels of knowledge and prescribing practices that were in line with current standards," commented Dr. Stone. "These results suggest physicians are able to gauge their own HIV competency and determine when there is a need for consultation," she added.
The study emphasizes the importance of HIV experience and concludes that primary care physicians should consult with an HIV specialist when caring for HIV/AIDS patients if they feel they need treatment advice.
This article was provided by American Academy of HIV Medicine. It is a part of the publication The Nexus.