Health Services Utilization for People With HIV Infection: Comparison of a Population Targeted for Outreach With the U.S. Population in Care
October 27, 2006
William Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles, and colleagues compared survey responses of 1,286 HIV-positive people who participated in the Targeted HIV Outreach and Intervention Initiative -- conducted under the Ryan White CARE Act from 2001 through 2002 to locate "hard-to-reach" HIV-positive people in 16 sites -- with the responses of 2,267 HIV-positive people who participated in the HIV Costs and Services Utilization Study -- a group of HIV-positive people receiving medical care -- in 1998. According to the study, 59% of the participants in the outreach group were black, compared with 32% in the HCSUS group. In addition, 20% of the participants in the outreach group were Hispanic, compared with 16% in the HCSUS group (UCLA release, 10/24). In addition, 58% of participants in the outreach group were receiving antiretroviral drugs, compared with 82% in the HCSUS group, the study found. According to the researchers, participants in the outreach group largely were racial and ethnic minorities, illicit drug users and poor, and they also had less favorable health status and health care utilization characteristics than participants in the HCSUS group. "This study provides substantial evidence that the strategies needed to improve care might differ between the populations represented by the Outreach and HCSUS samples," the researchers wrote, concluding that in addition to factors such as insurance coverage, the study's findings "suggest that addressing heavy alcohol use could have a substantial impact on improving utilization for hard-to-reach HIV-positive persons" (Cunningham et al., Medical Care, November 2006).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.