Identifying Reasons for Late-Diagnosis of HIV: An Academic-Community Partnership to Improve Health Outcomes
In the United States, nearly a third of those diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed late, meaning that they were diagnosed with AIDS at the same time as or within one year of their HIV diagnosis. Late HIV diagnosis is associated with poor treatment outcomes and, in turn, less viral suppression, greater transmission of HIV to those who are not infected, and increased HIV-related morbidity and mortality. The United States’ goal of reducing HIV in part by increasing peoples’ awareness of their HIV status cannot be achieved without addressing late diagnosis. Given the large numbers of individuals with uncontrolled HIV who are diagnosed late, the proposed study aims to interview 20 late-diagnosed individuals and 20 individuals who were not diagnosed late in order to elucidate the reasons for late diagnosis and to uncover potential strategies for increasing early detection of HIV. In the proposed study, the PI will work in partnership with the Alameda County Public Health Department to examine the individual-, social-, and structural-level factors that fuel late HIV diagnosis within a social-epidemiological framework. The proposed work will provide a critical mentored experience for the PI. This study will also yield formative data for a future NIH grant proposal to develop public health strategies to address late diagnosis.