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Brazil Government In Contention With Merck Over Anti-AIDS Drug

laced under in-house medical care, are meanwhile protesting against discrimination. In the journal Public Health Reports, journalists say that almost half of transitional housing residents report that they have experienced discrimination while dealing with the health care system.

Says lead researcher Dr. Nancy Sohler:"Providers taking care of severely disadvantaged, HIV-infected patients, like those in our sample should be aware that many of their patients may experience, perceive, and/or fear discrimination from within the healthcare system."

Sohler and team from City University of New York surveyed 523 New York City area residents of temporary housing facilities for people with HIV.

Perceived discrimination was determined by asking participants if someone in the healthcare system had ever shown hostility or lack of respect toward them, ever paid less attention to them than others, or had ever refused them service. Out of those surveyed, 40 percent believed they had experienced discrimination. Of this group, 60 percent concluded that an underlying reason was their HIV infection, 50 percent cited drug use, 35 percent said it was because of homelessness, and race and ethnicity were implicated by 35 percent.

Those who perceived discrimination were significantly more likely to give lower ratings for quality of healthcare and trust in HIV care providers, according to the researchers.

"Our data show that perceived discrimination is a strong and consistent predictor of poor ratings of the healthcare system, which may negatively influence health behaviors. Thus, it is crucial for providers to address discrimination with their patients", Sohler concluded.
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