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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Mar;21(3):177-86.

Utilization of health care services in hard-to-reach marginalized HIV-infected individuals.

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  • 1Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10467, USA.


To benefit from HIV treatment advances individuals must utilize ambulatory primary care services. Few studies focus on marginalized populations, which tend to have poor health care utilization patterns. This study examined factors associated with health care utilization in hard-to-reach marginalized HIV-infected individuals. As part of a multisite initiative evaluating outreach programs that target underserved HIV-infected individuals, 610 participants were interviewed about their HIV disease, health services utilization, substance use, mental health, and case management. Primary outcomes included ambulatory, emergency department, and inpatient visits. Generalized estimating equations were used in logistic regression analyses. On regression analyses ambulatory visits were associated with having insurance (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.46), mental health medications (AOR = 7.46), and case management (AOR = 4.81). Emergency department visits were associated with having insurance (AOR = 1.74), homelessness (AOR = 2.23), poor health status (AOR = 2.02), length of HIV infection (AOR = 2.02), mental health care (AOR = 1.47), mental health medications (AOR = 1.59), and heavy alcohol intake (AOR = 1.46). Hospitalizations were associated with high school education (AOR = 1.57), having insurance (AOR = 10.45), homelessness (AOR = 2.18), poor health status (AOR = 2.64), length of HIV infection (AOR = 2.03), and mental health medications (AOR = 1.87). In hard-to-reach marginalized HIV-infected individuals, having insurance, case management and mental health care were associated with increased ambulatory visits. These findings support HIV multidisciplinary care with marginalized populations. Understanding factors associated with health care utilization is essential for outreach programs to facilitate engagement in HIV care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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