General Physicians ‘Less Likely’ Than Specialists to Recommend Proper HIV Treatment
General physicians are "less likely" than infectious disease specialists to recommend treatment "consistent" with HHS and International AIDS Society HIV treatment guidelines, according to a study in the current issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Associated Press reports. Doctors with less HIV-related experience are also "less likely" to follow the treatment guidelines, the study found. Valerie Stone of the Brown University School of Medicine and colleagues surveyed 1,000 general practitioners and infectious disease specialists in California, Florida, Massachusetts and New York to determine how they would treat two hypothetical HIV patients. "Based on the data presented here, generalists in several high HIV-prevalence states may not be prepared to provide state-of-the-art care for those with HIV/AIDS," Stone said. However, she noted that doctors with less HIV experience "appeared aware of the gaps in their knowledge" and "indicated they would have referred the patients to another physician for management of HIV," she added. The study concluded that general practitioners, who are "able to gauge their own HIV competency," should consult with an HIV expert "if they feel they need treatment advice" (Associated Press, 6/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.