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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007;21 Suppl 1:S30-9.

Factors associated with engaging socially marginalized HIV-positive persons in primary care.

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Program Design & Evaluation Services, Multnomah County Health Department, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA.


This paper examines factors associated with engaging socially marginalized HIV-positive persons in primary care using interview and chart review data from 984 clients presenting for services at 10 agencies participating in a multisite demonstration project. The sample was predominantly minority, and many reported drug and mental health problems as well as housing instability. At baseline, roughly half of the participants were engaged in HIV primary care; the other participants were either not at all engaged in HIV primary care or somewhat engaged in care. Those who were somewhat engaged in care were very similar to those who were not at all engaged in care, and significantly different than those who were fully engaged in care across a number of demographic, health status/utilization, and barriers to care items and fared equally poorly with regard to engagement in care at 12-month follow-up. In 12-month longitudinal analyses, 58% of those not engaged at baseline ( n = 517) became more fully engaged in care. In the final multivariate model that controlled for disease stage, decreases in drug use, structural barriers, and unmet needs were associated with engagement in care. Interventions that focus on decreasing structural barriers and unmet support services needs, addressing negative health beliefs and attending to drug use are promising public health strategies to engage marginalized HIV-positive persons in HIV primary care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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