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Health disparities and gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals living with the human immunodeficiency virus (LWHIV)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Poster Session III

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center




  • B. Rahim-Williams
  • J.A. Erlen
  • K.A. Kim
  • L.B. Sherwin
  • S.K. Abey
  • N.H. Fourie
  • W.A. Henderson


Individuals with HIV on HAART are living longer, and are predisposed to chronic disease comorbidities. This study investigated chronic gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea and abdominal pain) in individuals with HIV. Our sample, n= 351, included 200 Black individuals (131 males); 145 white (113 males), ages 20-66 years (mean = 43.65). We collected HIV viral load, CD4 counts, Symptom Co-Morbidity Questionnaire and clinical and demographic information (race/ethnicity, sex/gender and age). We used SPSS v.20 for our analysis. Forty-one percent (n=144) reported diarrhea. Fifty-four participants (15.5%) reported CAP. Men were significantly more likely to have diarrhea than women (p ≥ .036). Fewer Black men (47.7%) reported diarrhea compared to white men (52.3%). Fewer white women (25.7%) reported diarrhea compared to Black women (65%). Interesting, fewer females reported CAP compared to males; fewer white women (35%) compared to Black women (65%), and fewer Black men compared to white men. There was no significant predictor of diarrhea or CAP by CD4 counts, viral load, race/ethnicity or age. Clinical indices, (CD4, viral load) alone are insufficient indicators of chronic disease symptoms negatively affecting health outcomes. Contributions from health disparities research is uniquely poised to identify underlying social determinants affecting differential health outcomes for individuals LWHIV.

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