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

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999

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, Martin F. Shapiro, Mark A. Schuster

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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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