OBJECTIVES: To examine the HIV care needs and hospital admission patterns of HIV-positive Haitian-born blacks (Haitians) and compare them with those of US-born blacks (Blacks). METHODS: We abstracted the medical records of 635 Blacks and Haitians consecutively admitted to the adult HIV Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital during 2004 for information on demographics, use of antiretroviral therapy, CD4 cell counts, primary and secondary diagnoses at admission, and substance use. The probability of being prescribed highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was examined by country of origin. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in likelihood to be prescribed HAART. In controlled analyses, however, Haitians were 76% more likely than Blacks to have a CD4 count <51 cells/mm and tended to be more recently diagnosed with HIV. Moreover, tuberculosis was the most prevalent opportunistic infection for Haitians compared with candidiasis for Blacks. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that barriers to medical care may exist for Haitians at an early stage of the access continuum and that prevention efforts among the Haitian HIV-positive population should be directed at promoting the need for timely use of health services.
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