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Background Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome-associated mortality contributes considerably to overall mortality rates among adults in the United States. The purpose of this review is to systematically examine conceptual approaches that have been used to evaluate the association between socioeconomic status of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus and their survival and summarize existing evidence regarding the association between socioeconomic status and mortality due to human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome. Methods We systematically retrieved neighborhood and individual-level studies of acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome-related or all-cause mortality among patients diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus that reported original data and analyzed socioeconomic status as a predictor of mortality. Results We included 21 studies (19 cohort and 2 case-control studies). Heterogeneity in both the conceptual approaches to socioeconomic status measurements and selection of variables for the adjustment of the measure of association precluded meta-analysis of the results. Six studies observing populations before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy found that socioeconomic status was not associated with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome mortality. In the post- highly active antiretroviral therapy period socioeconomic status was inconsistently associated with Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome mortality risk in studies adjusting for highly active antiretroviral therapy use. Conclusion Further studies considering multilevel socioeconomic status measurements and controlling for treatment and clinical variables are needed to enhance understanding of the role of socioeconomic gradients on human immunodeficiency virus outcomes.

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Journal of AIDS & clinical research




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