A study of Los Angeles-area minorities has found doctors tend to delay AIDS treatment for Latinos, women and poor patients more than for others.
A study of Los Angeles-area minorities has found doctors tend to delay AIDS treatment for Latinos, women and poor patients more than for others. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, studied doctors who follow guidelines recommending the delay of therapy for HIV-positive patients who are considered likelier to miss taking doses of their medications. Also, they found doctors are slower to prescribe protease inhibitors — a class of front-line drugs for treating AIDS — for African-American patients whether or not the physicians follow the guidelines. “HIV rapidly develops resistance to treatment when patients repeatedly miss doses of their medications,” researchers said. “Our study suggests that physicians should take extra care in assessing and improving patient adherence among women, Latinos, and the poor in order to eliminate disparities in treatment among these groups.” The study analyzed data on 1,717 patients who were eligible for protease inhibitor treatment and 367 physicians. United Press International, April 2004)