A Socioeconomic Profile of Older Adults with HIV

Published in: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, v. 16, no. 1, Feb. 2005, p. 19-28

by Geoffrey F. Joyce, Dana P. Goldman, Arleen Leibowitz, Abby Alpert, Yuhua Bao

The objective of this study was to assess the socioeconomic circumstances of older patients with HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The investigators compared subjects from a national probability sample of 2,864 respondents from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS, 1996) with 9,810 subjects from Wave 1 (1992) of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS). Bivariate analyses compare demographic characteristics, financial resources, and health insurance status between older and younger adults and between older adults with HIV and the general population. It was found that nearly 10% of the HIV-positive population is between the ages of 50 and 61 years. Older whites with HIV are mostly homosexual men who are more well educated, more often privately insured, and more financially stable than the HIV population as a whole. In contrast, older minorities with HIV possess few economic resources in either absolute or relative terms. The success of new drug therapies and the changing demographics of the HIV population necessitate innovative policies that promote labor force participation and continuous access to antiretroviral therapies.

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