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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 560361, 8 pages
Research Article

Women’s Health Care Utilization among Harder-to-Reach HIV-Infected Women ever on Antiretroviral Therapy in British Columbia

1Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
2BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3
4BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3N1
5Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3

Received 15 June 2012; Revised 16 October 2012; Accepted 23 October 2012

Academic Editor: Craig R. Cohen

Copyright © 2012 Xuetao Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. HIV-infected women are disproportionately burdened by gynaecological complications, psychological disorders, and certain sexually transmitted infections that may not be adequately addressed by HIV-specific care. We estimate the prevalence and covariates of women’s health care (WHC) utilization among harder-to-reach, treatment-experienced HIV-infected women in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Methods. We used survey data from 231 HIV-infected, treatment-experienced women enrolled in the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) study, which recruited harder-to-reach populations, including aboriginal people and individuals using injection drugs. Independent covariates of interest included sociodemographic, psychosocial, behavioural, individual health status, structural factors, and HIV clinical variables. Logistic regression was used to generate adjusted estimates of associations between use of WHC and covariates of interest. Results. Overall, 77% of women reported regularly utilizing WHC. WHC utilization varied significantly by region of residence (P value ). In addition, women with lower annual income (AOR (95% CI) = 0.14 (0.04–0.54)), who used illicit drugs (AOR (95% CI) = 0.42 (0.19–0.92)) and who had lower provider trust (AOR (95% CI) = 0.97 (0.95–0.99)), were significantly less likely to report using WHC. Conclusion. A health service gap exists along geographical and social axes for harder-to-reach HIV-infected women in BC. Women-centered WHC and HIV-specific care should be streamlined and integrated to better address women’s holistic health.