Emergency department utilization among HIV-infected patients in a multisite multistate study

J. S. Josephs, J. A. Fleishman, P. T. Korthuis, R. D. Moore, K. A. Gebo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine Emergency Department (ED) utilization and clinical and sociodemographic correlates of ED use among HIV-infected patients. Methods: During 2003, 951 patients participated in face-to-face interviews at 14 HIV clinics in the HIV Research Network. Respondents reported the number of ED visits in the preceding 6 months. Using logistic regression, we identified factors associated with visiting the ED in the last 6 months and admission to the hospital from the ED. Results: Thirty-two per cent of respondents reported at least one ED visit in the last 6 months. In multivariate analysis, any ED use was associated with Medicaid insurance, high levels of pain (the third or fourth quartile), more than seven primary care visits in the last 6 months, current or former illicit drug use, social alcohol use and female gender.Of those who used ED services, 39% reported at least one admission to the hospital. Patients with pain in the highest quartile reported increased admission rates from the ED as did those who made six or seven primary care visits, or more than seven primary care visits . vs. three or fewer. Conclusions: The likelihood of visiting the ED has not diminished since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). More ED visits are to treat illnesses not related to HIV or injuries than to treat direct sequelae of HIV infection. With the growing prevalence of people living with HIV infection, the numbers of HIV-infected patients visiting the ED may increase, and ED providers need to understand potential complications produced by HIV disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Emergency department
  • HIV
  • HIV research network
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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