Original Article

Association of Race and Gender with Use of Antiretroviral Therapy Among HIV-infected Individuals in the Southeastern United States

Authors: Susan Reif, PhD, MSW, Kathryn Whetten, PhD, MPH, Nathan Thielman, MD

Abstract

Background: Women and minorities continue to account for a higher proportion of AIDS incidence and mortality than their male and white counterparts. This study examined whether race and gender were associated with antiretroviral use among HIV-infected individuals in the southeastern US.


Methods: Multivariate regression analyses were used to identify whether race and gender predicted use of a protease inhibitor (PI) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) from 1996 to 2000 among individuals receiving HIV primary care.


Results: Female gender and nonwhite race were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of being prescribed a PI or NNRTI at baseline. At the follow-up measure three years later, fewer individuals of minority race and female gender were prescribed a PI or NNRTI; however, these differences had declined and were no longer statistically significant.


Conclusions: Efforts are needed to improve prompt access to advances in HIV therapeutics for women and minorities and to address continued disparities in HIV care by race and gender.


Key Points


* Among a sample of HIV-infected individuals receiving HIV primary care in the deep South of the US, nonwhite race and female gender were associated with a lower likelihood of being prescribed a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in the years (1996–1997) directly following the initiation of these medications.


* In a follow-up measure completed three years after the baseline measure, fewer HIV-infected women than men in the sample of HIV-infected individuals in the deep South were receiving a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; however, the gender gap had narrowed since the baseline measure and was no longer statistically significant.


* At the three year follow-up measure, fewer HIV-infected individuals of nonwhite race were receiving a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; however, the difference in use of these medications by race had decreased since the baseline measure and was no longer statistically significant.

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