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Int J Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;13(2):186-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2008.06.004. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

HIV infection in refugees: a case-control analysis of refugees in Rhode Island.

Author information

  • 1The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. CBeckwith@Lifespan.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The number of HIV-infected refugees entering the USA is increasing. There is little data describing the HIV-infected refugee population and the challenges encountered when caring for them. We performed a retrospective case-control analysis of HIV-infected refugees in order to characterize their co-morbidities, baseline HIV characteristics, and longitudinal care compared to HIV-infected non-refugees.

METHODS:

A retrospective chart review was performed of HIV-infected refugees and non-refugees who were matched for gender, age, and time of establishment of initial HIV care.

RESULTS:

The refugee population studied was largely from West Africa. Refugees were more likely than non-refugees to have heterosexual risk for HIV infection, latent tuberculosis infection, and active hepatitis B. Refugees were less likely than non-refugees to have a history of substance use, start antiretrovirals, and be enrolled in a clinical study. The baseline CD4 counts and HIV plasma viral loads were similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clinicians caring for West African HIV-infected refugees should be knowledgeable about likely co-morbidities and the impact of cultural differences on HIV care. Further studies are needed to develop culturally competent HIV treatment, education, and prevention programs for refugees who are beginning a new life in the USA.

PMID:
18771943
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2704558
Free PMC Article
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