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Low-income HIVers
are more likely to die

Low-income HIVers
are more likely to die

A study in the November issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved shows that low-income HIV-positive Americans are significantly more likely to die of AIDS-related complications that their peers with higher incomes, United Press International reports. The disparity is mostly due to low-income people having less access to health care services, including lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, report. They studied 2,864 HIV-positive adults from 1996 to 2000 and discovered that HIVers with less than $50,000 of accumulated assets were 89% more likely to die than HIV-positive adults with more wealth. HIV patients with less than a high school education also were shown to be 53% more likely to have died than those who had graduated high school.

The researchers say that some of the specific risk factors for death among low-income HIV-positive Americans is a high use of ambulatory care services, low use of antiretroviral drugs, and a far lower access rate to private health insurance. "We need to look at improving care and find ways to help the low-socioeconomic-status population, and we would recommend more resources being put toward those groups," lead researcher William Cunningham said in a press release. (Advocate.com)

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