Impact of Support Services Provided by a Community-Based AIDS Service Organization on Persons Living With HIV/AIDS
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This study examined demographic, health-related, social support, and service utilization characteristics of clients with high and low use of a community-based AIDS service organization in Canada. The study confirmed that the organizations' services were reaching the most vulnerable persons living with HIV/AIDS. It found that a significantly greater number of high users compared with low users were single, lived alone, and reported poorer health. The similarity in functional health status and depression between user groups, despite high users' poorer health and greater social vulnerability, supports client reports that services have reduced client isolation and improved health-related quality of life. Finally, high users had lower expenditures for government-provided health and social services overall, particularly HIV specialists and AIDS medication, but significantly more expenditures for emergency room services and complementary therapies. The results suggest community-based services can enhance health-related quality of life for persons living with HIV/AIDS by increasing providers' capacity to identify and address client depression and its consequences.