Medical Mistrust and Adherence to Care Among a Heterogeneous Cohort of Women Living with HIV, Followed in a Large, U.S. Safety Net Clinic

Health Equity. 2021 Sep 24;5(1):681-687. doi: 10.1089/heq.2020.0105. eCollection 2021.


Purpose: To explore the relationship between medical mistrust, as measured by the Group-Based Medical Mistrust (GBMM) scale, and HIV care adherence among a cohort of minority women receiving care in a U.S. safety net clinic. Methods: English-, Spanish-, and Haitian Creole (Creole)-speaking patients with a recent history of nonadherence to care were surveyed. Results: English speakers endorsed the highest level of mistrust, followed by Spanish speakers and Creole speakers. Creole speakers endorsed lower mistrust, lower suspicion of providers, and lower levels of "perceived health care disparities." Higher mistrust was associated significantly with lower medication adherence, and lower rates of viral suppression (nonsignificant). Conclusion: Understanding perceptions of medical care and the relationship to HIV care adherence is an important step to addressing negative health outcomes for ethnic minority women with HIV. Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT03738410.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; adherence; clinics; medical mistrust; racial minority.

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