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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Feb;23(1):179-90. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2012.0004.

Disparities in HIV-treatment responses between Haitians, African Americans, and Hispanics living in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

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  • 1Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, University of Miami–Miller School of Medicine (UM-MSM), Miami, FL 33136, USA.



Studies evaluating response to treatment with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) fail to examine Haitian patients living in the U.S. as a distinct group.


This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of HAART in Haitians compared with other minority groups. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of HIV patients from two clinics. The cohort included 96 Hispanics, 60 African Americans, and 49 Haitians, after reviewing a total of 891 charts.


At 96 weeks, fewer Haitians (58.5%) achieved a suppressed viral load than African American (74.1%) or Hispanic (82.8%) patients (p=.021). Median CD4 counts at baseline were lowest among Haitians, with 158 cells/mm3, compared with African Americans, 176 cells/mm3 and Hispanics, 199 cells/mm3.


Haitians are not doing as well on HAART as other groups. This may be explained by linguistic, cultural, or other barriers that are not currently addressed by the health care system in the United States.

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