Review: use of health care services among persons living with HIV infection: state of the science and future directions

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2005 Aug;19(8):473-85. doi: 10.1089/apc.2005.19.473.


Health care services for persons living with HIV have broadened from short-term, crisis-oriented, and palliative care to include preventive, acute, and long-term services because of advances in HIV treatment and earlier detection. This integrated literature review on utilization of HIV-related health care services provides information on barriers to access, disparities in treatments, and factors contributing to wasteful use of services. Early research focused on describing and quantifying use of in-hospital care. As HIV transformed into a chronic disease, research on utilization expanded into outpatient settings. Predisposing factors such as race, gender, and injection drug use, and enabling factors (i.e., insurance, social support systems, housing) were strong predictors of utilization patterns. Clinical factors, such as immune status, symptoms, and depression, as well as contextual factors (i.e., characteristics of clinicians, urban/rural residence) determined the amounts of services obtained. Additional research is recommended on the utilization of nursing and preventive services and care in rehabilitation settings, home health, and nursing homes. Understanding the patterns and predictors of resource use can facilitate health professionals' efforts in improving the health care delivery system for individuals with HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • United States