White, Latina Women At Risk for HIV More Likely to Obtain Mental Health Care Than Black Women
Women who are HIV-positive or at risk for HIV infection "reported need for an use of mental health services that differed by ethnicity, age, education and availability of social support," according to a study published in the winter 2001 Journal of the American Medical Women's Association. The study, the "first to address this area of women's health," showed that overall, one-third of the women surveyed reported needing mental health services, with "older and white or Latina" women indicating the most need. Two-thirds of the women who indicated they needed mental health services obtained them, and these women were "more likely to have more education, receive less social support, have test scores suggesting depression and/or have experienced a recent negative life event" than those who did not obtain help. Older and white or Latina women were also found to be more likely to use prescribed psychotherapeutic medications. Data was collected during "baseline" visits with participants enrolled in the ongoing Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemiology Research Study, begun in 1991 by the CDC to study the "biological, behavior[al] and social determinants of HIV disease progression among U.S. women." HIV-positive and negative participants were "demographically and behaviorally similar" and their responses "did not vary widely" (JAMWA release, 1/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.