Social determinants of health and self-rated health status: A comparison between women with HIV and women without HIV from the general population in Canada
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BACKGROUND: Women living with HIV (WLWH) continue to experience poorer outcomes across the HIV care cascade and overall health, an appreciable proportion of which may not be disease-related but due to socio-structural barriers that impact health. We compared socio-structural determinants of health and self-rated health between WLWH and expected general population values. METHODS: Prevalences of socio-structural determinants and self-rated health were estimated from 1,422 WLWH aged 16+ in the 2013-2015 Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS). Prevalences were also estimated from 46,831 general population women (assumed HIV-negative) in the 2013-2014 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), standardized to the age/ethnoracial group distribution of WLWH. Standardized prevalence differences (SPDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were reported. RESULTS: Compared to general population women, a higher proportion of WLWH reported annual personal income <$20,000 (SPD 42.2%; 95% CI: 39.1, 45.2), indicating that 42.2% of WLWH experienced this low income, in excess of what would be expected of Canadian women of similar ages/ethnoracial backgrounds. A higher proportion of WLWH reported severe food insecurity (SPD 43.9%; 40.2, 47.5), poor perceived social support (SPD 27.4%; 22.2, 33.0), frequent racial (SPD 36.8%; 31.9, 41.8) and gender (SPD 46.0%; 42.6, 51.6) discrimination, and poor/fair self-rated health (SPD 12.2%; 9.4, 15.0). CONCLUSIONS: Significant socio-structural inequalities and lower self-rated health were found among WLWH compared to general population women. Such inequities support the integration of a social-determinants approach, social service delivery, and programming into HIV care, with additional resource allocation tailored to the particular needs of WLWH.