Study: HIV/AIDS Hospitalization Rates Drop, Disparities Increase
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development released the report to coincide with the recognition of World AIDS Day (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 12/1).
According to the study, the hospitalization rate among HIV/AIDS patients fell from a high ofÂ 464 hospitalizations per 1,000 individuals in 1992 to 129 hospitalizations for every 1,000 people in 2008 (Jewett, California Watch, 12/1).
The study also found thatÂ from 1988 to 2008, the percentage of HIV/AIDS-related hospitalizations that led to deaths declined from 13% to 5% (Gorman, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 11/30).
Stephanie Clendenin -- acting director at OSHPD -- said the overall decrease in hospitalization rates shows that antiretroviral drugs, first administered in the 1990s, are effective (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/1).
However, the study noted that disparities are growing. According to the study, the number of whites with HIV/AIDS nearly doubled from 1988 to 2008, while the number of Hispanics with HIV/AIDSÂ in 2008 was nearly five times higher than in 1988 and the number of blacks with HIV/AIDS nearly tripled during that time (California Watch, 12/1).
According to state health officials, the disparities suggest that HIV/AIDS prevention methods still are not reaching black and Hispanic communities.
Health experts cautioned that HIV/AIDS still poses a significant threat to public health in California.
Ron Chapman, director of the state Department of Public Health, said there were nearly 122,000 California residents living with HIV or AIDS at the end of 2009 (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/1).
On Wednesday, KPBS News reported on the state's HIV/AIDS report and on the disparities that exist in infection rates among different ethnicities (O'Mara, KPBS News, 11/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.