Health Care Use by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Students at a California Student Health Service

Published In: The Western Journal of Medicine, v. 157, no. 1, July 1992, p. 41-43

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1991

by Charles Bennett, Helen Chang, Deborah Shlian, Jo Ann Dawson, Brian R. Edlin

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We report characteristics of 16 college students with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection but without the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who received care at a student health center at a major university in California. Sociodemographic and clinical data and medical expenditures were obtained retrospectively from medical charts and computerized billing records. All 16 students were men who had sex with men, and 3 had also used intravenous drugs. Dermatologic conditions, upper respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal conditions, anemia, lymphadenopathy, sexually transmitted diseases, and ophthalmologic conditions were more frequent among HIV-infected students than among the general student population using the health center. On average, HIV-infected students visited the student health service about 3 times more often and incurred charges about 10 times higher than the general population of students visiting the health center. Student health centers, which have been at the forefront of developing strategies for HIV prevention, education, and counseling, must also develop treatment programs for HIV-infected students.

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