Effect of race on insurance coverage and health service use for HIV- infected gay men

Nancy Kass, Colin Flynn, Lisa Jacobson, Joan S. Chmiel, Eric G. Bing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether race is associated with health insurance coverage and health service use among gay and bisexual men in the Baltimore center of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Methods: Data from eight semiannual study visits between 1991 and 1996 were used. Descriptive, stratified, and logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine whether race is associated with insurance coverage, medical, or dental service use, after controlling for socioeconomic variables. Results: No difference was found between blacks' and whites' likelihood of having health insurance, private insurance, using inpatient, emergency department services, or antiretroviral medications. Whites were more likely to use outpatient services, particularly if CD4 cell counts were high, and were more likely to use dental services, although blacks were more likely to have dental insurance. Conclusions: Further research must be conducted to examine cultural, social, and psychological factors that help explain why white gay men use more outpatient and dental services, when other service use is unrelated to race. Investigators should be precise when using race as a variable in health services and epidemiologic research, emphasizing when racial differences truly exist versus when the variable race is a surrogate for another factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • Dental services
  • HIV
  • Health services research
  • Insurance
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology

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