Healthcare use by varied highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) strata: HAART use, discontinuation, and naivety

Herminia Palacio, Xiuhong Li, Tracey E. Wilson, Henry Sacks, Mardge H. Cohen, Jean Richardson, Mary Young, Alvaro Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: Prior reports have found a temporal association between the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and population rates of health service use among persons living with HIV. Our objective was to explore further the effect of HAART by comparing healthcare use among persons who use HAART and persons who discontinue HAART to that among HAART-naive and HIV-negative persons. Methods: Longitudinal analyses of 1485 women with and at-risk for HIV who contributed data to the Women's Interagency HIV Study between April 1997 and March 2000. Results: Compared with HAART-naive women, those using HAART had a higher probability of more than three primary care visits per 6 months [odds ratio (OR), 1.38; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.16-1.65), a lower probability of more than one emergency room visit per 6 months (OR, 0.75; CI, 0.59-0.95), and a lower probability of more than one hospitalization per 6 months (OR, 0.67; CI, 0.51-0.88). Compared with HAART-naive women, women who had discontinued HAART had a higher frequency of primary care visits (OR, 1.57; CI, 1.26-1.97) but did not demonstrate a significant change in emergency room or hospital use. Modeling of a standardized population HIV-positive women without AIDS indicated hospitalization and emergency room use among HAART users was equivalent to that among HIV-negative women. Conclusions: HIV-positive HAART users (without AIDS) exhibited emergency room and hospitalization use patterns equivalent to those of HIV-negative women. Furthermore, the discontinuation of HAART was associated with a loss of the reduction in hospital use that was achieved with HAART.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-630
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2004


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • HIV
  • Healthcare


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