ObjectivesWe measured gender differences in “Quality of Care” (QOC) during the first year after initiation of antiretroviral therapy and investigated factors associated with poorer QOC among women.DesignQOC was estimated using the Programmatic Compliance Score (PCS), a validated metric associated with all-cause mortality, among all patients (≥19 years) who initiated ART in British Columbia, Canada (2000–2010).MethodsPCS includes six indicators of non-compliance with treatment initiation guidelines at baseline (not having drug resistance testing before treatment; starting on a non-recommended regimen; starting therapy at CD4<200 cells/mm3) and during first-year follow-up (receiving <3 CD4 tests; receiving <3 viral load tests; not achieving viral suppression within six months). Summary scores range from 0–6; higher scores indicate poorer QOC. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression was used to measure if female gender was an independent predictor of poorer QOC and factors associated with poorer QOC among women.ResultsQOC was determined for 3,642 patients (20% women). At baseline: 42% of women (34% men) did not have resistance testing before treatment; 17% of women (9% men) started on a non-recommended regimen (all p<0.001). At follow-up: 17% of women (11% men) received <3 CD4; 17% of women (11% men) received <3 VL; 50% of women (41% men) did not achieve viral suppression (all p<0.001). Overall, QOC was better among men (mean PSC = 1.54 (SD = 1.30)) compared with women (mean = 1.89 (SD = 1.37); p<0.001). In the multivariable model, female gender (AOR = 1.16 [95% CI: 0.99–1.35]; p = 0.062) remained associated with poorer QOC after covariate adjustment. Among women, those with injection drug use history, of Aboriginal ancestry, from Vancouver Island, and who initiated ART in earlier years were more likely to have poorer QOC.ConclusionsPoorer QOC among women, especially from marginalized communities, demands that barriers undermining women's access to high-quality care be addressed to improve treatment and health for women with HIV.
Carter A, Eun Min J, Chau W, Lima VD, Kestler M, et al. (2014) Gender Inequities in Quality of Care among HIV-Positive Individuals Initiating Antiretroviral Treatment in British Columbia, Canada (2000–2010). PLoS ONE 9(3): e92334. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092334
Gender Inequities in Quality of Care among HIV-Positive Individuals Initiating Antiretroviral Treatment in British Columbia, Canada (2000–2010)
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