A recent study conducted at a free clinic in Houston found undocumented Latinos with HIV infections enter care with more advanced disease than other patients. Despite getting medical care at later dates, however, undocumented Latinos with HIV achieved similar success in treatment as documented Latino and white patients.
Dr. Thomas Giordano, associate professor of medicine-infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, reviewed data from patients who visited Houston’s Thomas Street Health Center over a five-and-a-half year period. The study consisted of 1,620 HIV-infected adults, including 186 undocumented Latino patients, 278 documented Latino patients, 986 black patients and 170 white patients. “We found that undocumented Hispanic patients came into the clinic with the most advanced HIV disease compared to the documented Hispanic, black and white populations, indicating that they were delaying care or had experienced delays in getting diagnosed,” said Dr. Giordano in a statement. The study found that undocumented Latinos entered treatment with the most weakened immune systems.
One year after entering HIV care undocumented Latinos achieved similar rates of retention in care and similar success in reversing HIV’s advance as documented Latino and white patients. The study found black patients, however, were “significantly less likely” to succeed in care than even undocumented Latinos. Houston has the third largest Latino population in the United States.
Population of focus: Undocumented Hispanic Immigrants
Organization: Baylor College of Medicine