Delayed Medical Care After Diagnosis in a US National Probability Sample of Persons Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Published in: Archives of Internal Medicine, v. 160, no. 17, Sep. 25, 2000, p. 2614-22

Posted on on January 01, 2000

by Barbara J. Turner, William Cunningham, Naihua Duan, Ronald Andersen, Martin F. Shapiro, Samuel A. Bozzette, Terry T. Nakazono, Sally C. Morton, Stephen Crystal, Patricia A. St. Clair, et al.

OBJECTIVE: To identify health care and patient factors associated with delayed initial medical care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. DESIGN: Survey of a national probability sample of persons with HIV in care. SETTING: Medical practices in the contiguous United States. PATIENTS: Cohort A (N = 1540) was diagnosed by February 1993 and was in care within 3 years; cohort B (N = 1960) was diagnosed by February 1995 and was in care within 1 year of diagnosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: More than 3- or 6-month delay. RESULTS: Delay of more than 3 months occurred for 29% of cohort A (median, 1 year) and 17% of cohort B. Having a usual source of care at diagnosis reduced delay, with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-0.77) in cohort A and 0. 70 (95% CI, 0.50-0.99) in cohort B. Medicaid coverage at diagnosis showed lower adjusted ORs of delay compared with private insurance (cohort A: adjusted OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.30-0.92; cohort B: adjusted OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27-0.85). Compared with whites, Latinos had 53% and 95% higher adjusted ORs of delay (P<.05) in cohorts A and B, respectively, and African Americans had a higher adjusted OR in cohort A (1.56; 95% CI, 1.19-2.04). The health care factors showed similar effects on delay of greater than 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: Medicaid insurance and a usual source of care were protective against delay after HIV diagnosis. After full adjustment, delay was still greater for Latinos and, to a lesser extent, African Americans compared with whites.

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