CDC: Hispanics/Latinos Receiving HIV Medical Care Have Unmet Needs for Dental and Other Services

Posted on October 13, 2016

In the United States from 2013 to 2014, there were substantial unmet needs for ancillary services among Latinos receiving outpatient HIV medical care. The most common unmet needs were for services that support retention in HIV medical care and assist with day-to-day living, including dental and vision care, food and nutrition services, transportation, and shelter or housing. Ancillary services – such as non-HIV medical care, subsistence services, and HIV support services – can improve the health of people living with HIV and help them achieve viral suppression.

An analysis of Medical Monitoring Project data found an estimated 24% of Latinos receiving outpatient HIV medical care reported unmet needs for dental care and 21% reported unmet needs for eye or vision care. Additionally, 15% of Latinos reported unmet needs for food or nutrition services; 9% had an unmet need for transportation assistance; and 8% reported unmet needs for shelter or housing services. The analysis also identified the highest prevalence of unmet needs of Latinos by age group, with some unmet needs, such as shelter and housing services and HIV peer group support, being higher for those ages 18 to 39 than those age 50 or older. Many of the reasons Latinos have unmet needs for ancillary services reflect not knowing how to get the services, perceived ineligibility for obtaining services, and denial of services. HIV case managers can play an important role in connecting Latinos living with HIV to needed services and resources.

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