Majority of HIV-Positive Phoenix-Area Residents in Good Health, But Many Using Illegal Drugs, Survey Shows
Nearly 60% of HIV-positive people living in the Phoenix area say that their health is good or excellent and that they receive satisfactory health care, but many of them use illegal drugs, including heroin, crystal methamphetamine, marijuana and "party drugs" such as Ecstasy and amyl nitrate, known as poppers, according to a survey released this week by New York-based Partnership for Community Health, the Arizona Daily Star reports. Researchers commissioned by the Phoenix EMA Ryan White Title I HIV Health Services Planning Council interviewed in person, by phone or through the Internet nearly 600 people who represented all races, ethnicities and risk groups, including men who have sex with men, injection drug users and people who contracted HIV through heterosexual transmission. Eighty-eight percent of those questioned qualified for federal benefits because they earned less than 300% of the federal poverty level, or about $28,000 annually for a single person. The survey found that more than half of the participants said they had used poppers, 43% had used crystal meth and 11% had used a combination of heroine and cocaine, known as speedballs. The survey found that most HIV/AIDS patients in need of outpatient medical care were receiving it, but disparities existed among people needing dental care, case management, mental health, transportation and housing services (Nichols, Arizona Daily Star, 8/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.