It is important for healthcare providers to be aware that Hispanic/Latina women with HIV infection receiving medical care face greater socioeconomic and language-related challenges than their male counterparts, according to a report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.1
HIV infection among Hispanic/Latino individuals in the United States is approximately twice that of non-Hispanic whites.2 In addition, barriers to and experiences with medical care have been found to vary by gender in this population.3 Therefore, researchers sought to describe characteristics of Hispanics/Latinos receiving medical care for HIV by gender to help identify disparities and improve delivery of tailored services to this underserved population.1
They analyzed data from 2013 and 2014 using an annual cross-sectional nationally representative surveillance system known as the Medical Monitoring Project to describe demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics among this population. Researchers found that among Hispanic/Latino individuals who were receiving care for HIV infection, women were significantly more likely than men to live in poverty, to have difficulties with the English language, and to have used ancillary services at a higher rate. However, Hispanic/Latino men and women had similar rates of antiretroviral therapy prescriptions and sustained viral suppression, possibly as a result of the greater use of ancillary services by this population of women.
The authors concluded that “providers should be cognizant of the challenges faced by Hispanics/Latinos with HIV infection in care and provide referrals to needed ancillary services.”1 In addition, “although the lack of disparity in viral suppression among Hispanic/Latino men and women in HIV care is encouraging, work still remains to decrease ethnic disparities and attain national prevention goals among this population.”
- Luna-Gierke RE, Shouse RL, Luo Q, Frazier E, Chen G, Beer L. Differences in characteristics and clinical outcomes among Hispanic/Latino men and women receiving HIV medical care — United States, 2013–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(40):1109-1114.
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Report, vol. 28. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-report-2016-vol-28.pdf. 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.
- US Department of Health and Human Services. Women’s Health USA 2013. https://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa13/. 2013. Accessed November 15, 2018.