May 16, 2011
In the current study, the authors used data from a survey of HIV-positive Haitians recruited from an HIV primary care clinic in Miami to examine barriers to and facilitators of this population's regular use of HIV care.
The Andersen Model of Health Services Utilization for Vulnerable Populations guided the selection of measures. Regular use of HIV primary care was the dependent variable, operationalized as completion of four or more HIV primary care visits in the preceding 12 months. Ninety-six participants were surveyed; approximately three-fourths did not graduate from high school and had an annual income of up to $5,000. Among participants, 79 percent completed four or more visits in the past year.
Univariate as well as multivariate analyses found that participants without formal education or those with high psychological distress were significantly less likely to have used HIV primary care regularly than those who attended school or were less distressed, respectively.
"The findings emphasize the need for health care practitioners to pay close attention to the education level and the mental health status of their Haitian HIV patients," the authors concluded. "The data also suggest that once these individuals are linked to care and offered assistance with their daily challenges, they are very likely to stay connected to care and to take their antiretroviral medicines."