advances in the fight against HIV/AIDS. While there is no cure, there are long term medical options to help control some of the symptoms. Those suffering with this disease must seek medical care for the rest of their lives and a new study looks at the care retention rate of HIV patients.
According to the study done by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, about 25 percent of HIV patients aren’t consistently getting the care they need.
Why constant care is important
“Helping patients with HIV stay in care is a key way to reduce their chances of getting sick from their disease and prevent the spread of HIV in the community. Our findings show that too many patients are falling through the cracks,” says the study’s lead author, Baligh R. Yehia, MD, a fellow in the division of Infectious Disease and the Health Policy Research Program at Penn Medicine.
“The benefits of keeping patients in care are clear both for patients and the community at large, and it may even result in decreased health care costs by preventing unnecessary hospitalization for an acute illness.”
Barriers keep some away from medical care
Housing, transportation and financial problems, substance abuse and mental illness can all be contributors to problems with care retention, and patients who don’t have symptoms may not believe they’re “sick” enough to require regular visits with their providers.