Sizable Number of HIV-Infected Children Not Receiving Care

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Sizable Number of HIV-Infected Children Not Receiving Care
Sizable Number of HIV-Infected Children Not Receiving Care

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial proportion of children with diagnosed HIV infection might not be receiving the recommended frequency of medical care, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Mary R. Tanner, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid and MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters databases (2010-2014). They used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic billing codes to identify children younger than 13 years with a diagnosis of HIV infection. This resulted in Medicaid and commercial claims cohorts of 163 and 129 children, respectively.

The researchers found that 60 percent of children in the Medicaid cohort were retained in care for the first 24 months and that of these, 93 percent were retained in care through 36 months. In the commercial claims cohort, 69 percent were retained in care to 24 months, and of these, 85 percent were in care at 36 months. Age ≤1 year was associated with decreased odds of retention in care in the commercial claims cohort, while a Medicaid eligibility categorization of blind/disabled individual or foster care child was associated with improved odds of being retained in care.

"A substantial proportion of the medically vulnerable population of children with diagnosed HIV infection might not be receiving the recommended frequency of medical care. Further investigation into the causes of nonretention in pediatric HIV care is indicated to identify possible areas for public health action," write the authors.

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