For Persons Living With HIV, Transportation Barriers Adversely Affect HRQOL

  • Date: 01/31/2022

Worsened health outcomes among persons living with HIV in the Deep South region of the United States have been linked to transportation barriers, according to new study findings published in AIDS and Behavior. The Deep South encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and between 2012 and 2017, 82% of new HIV diagnoses in the South were within this area, the authors noted.

“Access to adequate transportation is a social determinant of health that is frequently overlooked in aging and public health research, as previous transportation-related studies have primarily focused on motor vehicle safety outcomes and indicators of driving abilities within aging samples,” the authors wrote when providing the impetus for their study of outcomes among persons aged 39 to 73 years (mean [SD] age, 51.10 [6.78] years). “Access to reliable transportation is a social determinant of health imperative for disease management for those aging with HIV/AIDS.”

Outcomes in connection with transportation show that just 63.6% had a valid driver’s license, 67.8% owned or could access a vehicle, 37.5% cancelled/missed appointments because they did not have transportation, and 61.3% reported their transportation needs often dictated their health care scheduling. An overwhelming majority (88.5%) highlighted the importance of adequate transportation to QOL improvement.

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