Black People With Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities More Likely to Be HIV-Postive

Disparities across the HIV care continuum exist for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Tyler G. James, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of HIV testing, HIV diagnosis, and receipt of HIV care among 878,186 adults with IDDs with public insurance.

The researchers found that only 0.12 percent of adults with IDD who had no known HIV diagnosis received an HIV test in the past year, while the prevalence of HIV diagnosis among adults with IDD was 0.38 percent. The prevalence of HIV diagnosis differed by type of IDD. Among adults with IDD who were living with HIV, seven in 10 received antiretroviral therapy in 2012 (71 percent). There were significant racial disparities observed in an adjusted analysis, with Black adults with IDD making up the majority of the HIV-positive IDD adult population (59.1 percent).

“There is a large misunderstanding that patients with intellectual disabilities are asexual and therefore don’t require HIV testing or education,” James said in a statement. “This is not true and not providing proper treatment for this population leads to increases in patients with HIV and the spread of HIV.”

Abstract/Full Text

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