International journal of environmental research and public health 2017 10 1114(10) pii 10.3390/ijerph14101214
It is important that the utilization of emergency departments (EDs) among people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) be epidemiologically evaluated in order to assess and improve the HIV care continuum. All participants newly-diagnosed with HIV in Taiwan registered in the National Health Insurance Database from 2000 to 2005 were enrolled in this study and followed-up from 2006 to 2011. In total, 3500 participants newly-diagnosed with HIV in 2000-2005 were selected as a fixed-cohort population and followed-up from 2006 to 2011. Overall, 704, 645, 591, 573, 578, and 568 cases made 1322, 1275, 1050, 1061, 1136, and 992 ED visits in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively, with an average number of ED visits ranging from 1.75 to 1.98 per person, accounting for 20.1-22.6% of the whole HIV-positive population. Fewer ED visits were due to traumatic reasons, accounting for 19.6-24.4% of all cases. The incidence of traumatic and non-traumatic ED visits among the HIV-positive participants ranged from 7.2-9.3 and 27.0-33.9 per 100 people, respectively. The average direct medical cost of traumatic and non-traumatic ED visits ranged from $89.3-112.0 and $96.6-120.0, respectively. In conclusion, a lower incidence of ED visits for all reasons and fewer ED visits owing to traumatic causes were observed in the population living with HIV in comparison with the general population; however, the direct medical cost of each ED visit owing to both traumatic and non-traumatic causes was greater among those living with HIV than in the general population.