HIV/AIDS Unmet Needs, Georgia, 2011
D. M. Rane, J.M. Kelly, D. Hughes, A.E. Pennisi, Y.O. Whiteside
The number of persons living with HIV infection in the Atlanta EMA (28,683) was higher than the number of persons living with HIV infection in Georgia, Non-EMA (16,844). The estimated number of persons and proportion living with HIV with unmet needs was 20,627 (45%) for Georgia statewide, 12,265 (43%) for Atlanta EMA and 8,342 (50%) for Georgia, Non-EMA. In Georgia Non-EMA, higher unmet needs were found among males (51%) than females (46%), Hispanic/Latino, all races(55%) than other races, age-group 2-12 years of age (76%) than other age groups, and injection drug users (59%) than persons with other known and/or unknown risk factors. Similar distributions were seen for unmet needs in the Atlanta EMA and Georgia statewide.
Quantified unmet needs in Georgia can guide stakeholders in decision making to improve primary care access for HIV-positive Georgians. Limitations of the analysis include 1) the burden of HIV disease in Georgia may be underestimated due to limitations of reporting; 2) evidence of one viral load or CD4 laboratory test is not indicative of comprehensive primary medical care for persons living with HIV/AIDS; 3) the utility of unmet needs estimates by risk factor is limited by the large number of individuals with unspecified risk factors in the Georgia surveillance data. Further study is needed to identify barriers to access to care and unmet needs that may differ for Georgia EMA and Non-EMA populations.