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HIV-infected women fare worse than men in post-release outcomes

February 27, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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HIV-infected women transitioning from jail to the community were more likely to have worse post-release outcomes, including higher rates of cocaine abuse, than men making the same transition, according to a new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Study authors concluded that the results indicate that interventions aimed at HIV-infected individuals who are leaving correctional settings need to be gender-specific. The study results were published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Study data were derived from the 2008-2011 Enhancing Linkages to HIV Primary Care and Services in Jail Setting Initiative, the largest multi-site study of HIV-infected released inmates. In a group of 867 study subjects, women at the six-month post-release stage were less likely than men to be retained in HIV care (50% vs. 63%). They also were more likely to have a serious psychiatric disorder but less likely to be receiving psychiatric care.

In addition, using multiple logistic regression models, the researchers found that women were only half as likely as men to achieve viral suppression at the six-month mark.