TRI-VALLEY: HIV+ Residents Receive Quality Care, Other Needs Remain
Although most HIV-positive patients who receive medical services from government-funded clinics in the rural San Fernando and Antelope valleys receive quality care, a majority lack stable housing, mental health services and transportation to doctors' offices, according to a new survey of 15 area agencies. Led by sociologist Judith Mayo, the study found that 42.3% of HIV-positive people in the area are white, 30.2% are Latino and 20% are black; about 43% are gay and 45% have not graduated from high school. The Los Angeles Times reports that according to the study, a majority of the patients are poor, have been in jail and have a history of substance abuse. "This is extraordinary data, because this is a group that providers think of as hard to serve," said Mayo, who is overseeing a five-year plan to coordinate services for HIV patients in the area. According to Mark Henrickson, director of the Panorama City HIV clinic, the study helps dispel some perceptions of HIV as primarily an urban problem. "There's a concept that most people infected with HIV are downtown, but they're in the valley too, and we need to serve them," he said (Garcia, 3/1).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.