HIV mortality has declined significantly faster among women than men in rural South Africa since free treatment became widely available, and a high proportion of HIV-related deaths are occurring among men who have never sought care in public clinics or hospitals, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.
In a study published in PLOS Medicine, Dr. Jacob Bor, assistant professor of global health, and colleagues from BUSPH and the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in South Africa found that the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) that began in 2004 has benefited women more than men.
The research team, which includes BUSPH global health research professor Dr. Sydney Rosen, said there are a number of possible explanations for the growing disparity in HIV mortality, including delayed care-seeking among men and gender differences in adherence and retention in treatment.
“We have documented that a substantial proportion of HIV-related deaths occur among people who have never sought care,” the authors wrote. “Further research is needed to understand the reasons that people dying from HIV choose not to seek free and widely available life-saving treatment.”
To read more about the study, go to: http://www.bu.edu/sph/2015/11/24/gender-disparities-in-hiv-mortality-in-south-africa/