Factors Affecting Health Status in African Americans Living with HIV/AIDS
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This study surveyed face-to-face 111 African American newly diagnosed and living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) from the Washington D.C. area, to ascertain the use of, and need for, early intervention services. The survey instrument included sections on demographics, level of health functioning and health indicators, social and financial support, and needed services. This article constructs a health status proxy variable from survey items and examines its relationship to biological and social variables. Variables found to have a significant relationship with health status are gender, type of health insurance, employment, receiving Social Security Disability Income, and level of education. A log-linear model for selection of parsimony found that the type of health insurance was most highly predictive of health status, when controlling for other variables. Persons who receive Medicaid report no better levels of health status than those without health insurance. Having private health insurance is associated with a 5.3-fold greater chance of having good or excellent health status.