For persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), receiving regular HIV care is necessary to stay healthy. Given that experiencing discrimination may contribute to worse engagement in HIV care, researchers at the Brown University School of Public Health and elsewhere investigated the relationship between discrimination and missing HIV care appointments among women living with HIV. Because women of different racial/ethnic groups may experience discrimination differently, the researchers also examined whether the relationship between discrimination and missing HIV care appointments depended on race/ethnicity. The study, published in AIDS and Behavior, was led by Mr. Andrew Cressman, a recent graduate of Brown’s Master’s of Epidemiology program, and supervised by Dr. Chanelle Howe, an assistant professor in Brown’s Department of Epidemiology.
The researchers analyzed data from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Discrimination was captured using various measures, including questions like “Overall, how much has discrimination interfered with you having a full and productive life?” and “Overall, how much harder has your life been because of discrimination?” that were asked during WIHS study visits.
In their primary analyses, the researchers found that the prevalence of missing HIV appointments tended to be higher among women who experienced discrimination compared to women who did not experience discrimination. However, the researchers did not find statistically significant evidence that the relationship between discrimination and missing HIV care appointments varied by race/ethnicity. The authors conclude that minimizing discrimination or minimizing the impact of discrimination may result in better engagement in HIV care for women.Tags: Friday Letter Submission