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Healthcare Utilization, Unmet Service Needs, and HIV Treatment Outcomes among Racial/Ethnic Groups

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Objectives: In this study, we aimed to investigate possible racial/ethnic differences regarding service utilization, linkage to care, and medication adherence among people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA). Methods: PLWHA (N = 142) 18 years or older were recruited from a needs assessment project conducted in Nevada in 2016. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. The study variables included participants' race/ethnicity (Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic), service utilization, unmet service needs, linkage to care, and medication adherence. Significant between-group (race/ethnicity) differences regarding service utilization, linkage to care, and medication adherence were assessed. Results: There were no statistically significant between-group differences regarding utilized services, unmet service needs, linkage to care, and medication adherence (p > .05). However, there were statistically significant between-group differences for 4 individual utilized services. For example, African-American participants were 72% less likely to have utilized medical care services than Caucasians (AOR = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.10-0.74) and Hispanics were 84% less likely to have utilized mental health services than Caucasians (AOR = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.04-0.60). Conclusions: Health disparities among racial/ ethnic groups exist, specifically regarding certain individual medical and support services. Federal and regional programs must allocate funding to address specific service needs and improve healthcare services for certain racial/ethnic groups.
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Keywords: AIDS/HIV; HEALTH DISPARITIES; HEALTH SERVICE UTILIZATION; HEALTHCARE; PLWHA; RACE/ETHNICITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2020

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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