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Mental Health in Youths With HIV

Mental Health in Youths With HIV

Previous research has linked poor mental health among people living with HIV to a greater likelihood of participating in risky behaviors. “Untreated mental illnesses can be detrimental to the health and well-being of younger patients with HIV and may place others at risk for being infected with the virus,” says Laura B. Whiteley, MD. Exploring Disparities Few studies have explored disparities in the receipt of mental healthcare among adolescents and young adults living with HIV. To address this issue, Dr. Whiteley and colleagues had a study published in the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. The researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1,706 HIV-infected adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 26 who were engaged in care. According to findings, there was a significant disparity in mental healthcare utilization for psychiatrically symptomatic African-American adolescents and young adults living with HIV. “African-American youth with psychiatric symptoms were significantly less likely than non-African Americans to have received mental healthcare and psychiatric medications,” says Dr. Whiteley. Conversely, Latinos were more likely than non-Latinos to report receiving mental healthcare. The lack of disparity also extended to sexual minorities and impoverished or homeless youth and young adults. Targeting Efforts Information from the study may help clinicians target efforts to overcome barriers for managing this specific patient population. “More initiatives to engage African-American youth and young adults who are receiving medical care could be needed,” Dr. Whiteley says. She adds that efforts should be made within all HIV treatment sites to reduce disparities for minority patients. The focus of these efforts should be toward educating parents, patients, and providers about common...
IDWeek 2014

IDWeek 2014

New research was presented at IDWeek 2014, the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, from October 8 to 12 in Philadelphia. Meeting Highlights Antimicrobial Stewardship Through Social Media HIV Pharmacist Reconciliation & ART Prescription Errors Antibiotic Stewardship Benefits Children The Effect of Face-to-Face Networking on HIV Testing Reducing Rates of Antibiotic-Resistant Pneumonia   News From IDWeek 2014 Prevnar-13 Halts Pneumonia in Seniors MMR Vax Proves Safe Over Time in U.S. Adults Case Study: Fecal Transplant Clears K. Pneumoniae Antiviral Fails in Ebola, but Encouraging in Adenovirus Novel HSV-2 Vax Shows Promise Ebola: Skip Randomized Trials, Experts Urge Clinicians Explore EV-D68, Paralysis Link Ebola: Body Fluids Carry the Risk Specialist in Emergency Department Improves Antibiotic Use Adjuvant Boosts Supply of Avian Flu Vaccine Experts Closest to Ebola Outbreak Testify Ebola Outbreak and Enterovirus in the Limelight at IDWeek Ebola: Providers’ Risk Small in U.S. Hospitals Athletes at Higher Risk for MRSA   More From IDWeek 2014 Registration Housing & Travel & Discounts FAQs Interactive Program Breaking Presentations on the 2014 Ebola Outbreak Affiliated Events Schedule-at-a-Glance Mentorship Program Abstracts Pre-meeting Workshops CME/CPE...
Getting Third Parties Out Of The Exam Room

Getting Third Parties Out Of The Exam Room

Any physician, especially primary care physicians, can tell you that they are frequently forced to make a decision based on a third party’s opinion. Most often, this will be an insurance company denying a prescribed medication or test; the discussion in the exam room evolves into a discussion of what is covered by the patient’s health plan—and what is not. The goal of providing the best medical care is often overruled by some of those decisions. Of course, the insurance company will tell you that they are not making medical decisions, and the patient can pay out of pocket if they would still like the medication or the diagnostic test. Most patients will chose to go with what their plan covers, either for financial reasons, or they feel they are paying an insurance premium, and their insurer should be paying for their medical care. All too often, I find myself playing the appeals game with the insurance companies in order to get appropriate care for my patients. For example, I recently saw a young asthmatic patient who was controlled on a certain inhaler for many years. They had tried others, but those had all failed to relieve the asthmatic symptoms. The insurance company decided that the patient would have to fail on a trial of one of the inhalers they had already failed on in the past before covering the current inhaler. Well, patients can end up in the ER or even die from an exacerbation of asthma. Clearly, this was not in the patient’s best interest. Why should third parties not be allowed in the exam room? *...
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