Cost and utilisation of community services for people with HIV infection in London.
Petrou S., Dooley M., Whitaker L., Beck E., Kupek E., Wadsworth J., Miller D., Renton A.
This study aimed to describe the use and costs of community services for HIV-infected people by disease stage, sex and transmission category (homosexual, heterosexual, injecting drug use) by use of a prospective cohort study in which people were followed up for six months. There were two major components; gathering quantitative information on service utilisation from people with HIV infection using two interviewer-administered questionnaires and six self-completed monthly diaries; and estimating the costs of the services provided. People were recruited from two London clinics: the Jefferiss Wing Genito-urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, and the Patrick Clements GUM clinic at the Central Middlesex Hospital, Harlesden. Costing data was obtained from providers of community services throughout Greater London. The main outcome measures were contacts per person-year, and costs per person-year, for all community services stratified by service sector. The people studied each made, on average, 139 community service contacts per year at a cost of 2,806 pounds; there was little difference in average utilisation between the three transmission categories. There were differences in both the utilisation of services and costs within the formal and informal sectors for subjects from different disease stages. Although the average number of contacts per person-year were similar for women and men, the total cost of community services was higher for women than for men, reflecting the differences in types of services used. The results indicated a high proportion of total care costs for people with HIV and AIDS is incurred through community-based social care.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)