Only 10% get good AIDS care in inner cities

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 13 2001 1:00 AM ET

A study of AIDS patients in Atlanta suggests that only about one in 10 inner-city dwellers infected with HIV receive treatment that can help keep the virus from causing illness or death, United Press International reports. In a study presented at the 8th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, researchers reported that of 135 inner-city AIDS patients studied, only 12 had their disease controlled by available drugs. Only 55 of the diagnosed patients—about 40%—returned at all to the clinic where the study was conducted after receiving the results of their HIV tests. “There is a vast difference between being able to detect human immunodeficiency virus and gaining treatment compliance,” said lead researcher Carlos del Rio, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “Unfortunately, the road between diagnosis and therapeutic success in this inner-city setting is truly a road less traveled.” David Scondras, an AIDS activist with Boston-based Search for a Cure, said that Del Rio’s figures are not surprising considering the multiple factors of poverty, social estrangement, and lack of education often seen among patients who rely on inner-city clinics.