Study: HIV clinics give information inconsistently

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 16 2002 12:00 AM ET

A study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that health care providers at HIV clinics do not consistently provide HIV prevention information or advice on when clinic clients should disclose their serostatus, Reuters Health reports. The researchers surveyed 839 HIV-positive patients, each of whom attended one of six public HIV clinics in California. About 30% of the respondents said no clinic staff members had discussed safer sex with them, and about half said the clinics did not advise them on when or how to reveal their serostatus to sex partners.

The survey also showed that white clinic patients were less likely to receive HIV information than African-American and Latino clinic patients and that gay men were less likely to receive instruction than heterosexual men and women.

The researchers say the study could indicate that some health care providers mistakenly believe that gay men and whites are already better educated about safer sex and do not need additional instruction. Providers also may be uncomfortable talking about sex with gay clinic clients.

The full study appears in the journal AIDS.