Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Health literacy and current CD4 cell count in a multiethnic U.S. sample of adults living with HIV infection.
Authors: Walker RL, Hong JH, Talavera DC, Verduzco M, Woods SP
Year: 2018
Publication: International Journal of STD & AIDS
Volume: 29 Issue: 5 Pages: 498-504
Abstract:Hispanic and Black adults are disproportionately affected by HIV and experience poorer HIV-related health outcomes relative to non-Hispanic White adults. The current study adopted Sørensen's integrated model to test the hypothesis that lower functional and critical health literacy competencies contribute to poorer HIV-related health and CD4 cell count for Hispanic and Black individuals. Eighty-one non-Hispanic White, Hispanic, and Black HIV seropositive individuals from a large, Southwestern metropolitan area were administered measures of health literacy, including the Expanded Numeracy Scale, Newest Vital Sign, Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine, Test of Functional Health Literacy (TOHFLA)-numeracy, and TOHFLA-reading. Hispanic and Black individuals demonstrated less HIV knowledge than non-Hispanic White individuals. Black participants demonstrated fewer health literacy appraisal skills. Importantly, lower levels of health literacy were linked to poorer CD4 cell count (an index of immune functioning) for Hispanic and Black individuals and not for non-Hispanic White individuals. These findings suggest race group differences for health literacy on current CD4 cell count such as very specific dimensions of low health literacy (e.g. poorer judgment of health-related information), but not other presumed deficits (e.g. motivation, access), play an important role in clinical health outcomes in HIV.

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