Delays in Seeking HIV Care Due to Competing Caregiver Responsibilities

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 90, no. 7, July 2000, p. 1138-1140

by Michael Stein, Stephen Crystal, William Cunningham, Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, Ronald Andersen, Barbara J. Turner, Sally Zierler, Sally C. Morton, Mitchell H. Katz, Samuel A. Bozzette, et al.

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OBJECTIVES: This study sought to describe the characteristics of HIV-infected persons who delay medical care for themselves because they are caring for others. METHODS: HIV-infected adults (n = 2864) enrolled in the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (1996-1997) were interviewed. RESULTS: The odds were 1.6 times greater for women than for men to put off care (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2, 2.2); persons without insurance and with CD4 cell counts above 500 were also significantly more likely to put off care. Having a child in the household was associated with putting off care (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.4, 2.3). CONCLUSIONS: Women or individuals with a child in the household should be offered services that might allow them to avoid delays in seeking their own medical care.

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