Now Reading: Don’t believe in reducing disparities in HIV Care, believe in eliminating them

Kaiser Permanente (KP) is the largest civilian provider of HIV care in the United States and is the second largest provider of HIV care in the United States (the largest provider being the Veterans Administration). There were nearly 17,000 active HIV-infected KP members in 2007. Our HIV mortality rate is 1.6%, compared to 3.4% nationwide in the United States.

These two papers provide the data behind a major announcement today, which is that you don’t have to be Black, White, Latino, Heterosexual, or Homosexual to have the best chance at HIV viral suppression, avoiding AIDS, and avoiding death anymore. You only need to be a human being.

Here are the numbers:

Kaiser Permanente has demonstrated excellence in HIV clinical care outcomes with:

  • HIV mortality rates that are half the national average
  • 94 percent median treatment adherence among patients regularly in care and on antiretroviral therapy·
  • No disparities among its black and Latino HIV-positive patients for both mortality and medication rates, compared to a 15 percent higher rate in the United States for mortality and for medication
  • 89 percent of its HIV-positive patients are in HIV-specific care within 90 days, compared to 50 percent in the U.S. within one year·
  • 69 percent of all its HIV-positive patients have maximal viral control compared to 19 percent to 35 percent nationally

The other part of the announcement is that the best practices and tools that made this possible are being shared with the nation,

Let us never see another study that talks about “unexplained differences” in the death rate of people with HIV based on their race, ethnicity, or sexual minority status.

Let us also never see another study about anything in health care that talks about “unexplained differences” for minority populations.

Thanks to Michael Horberg, MD, and the team of clinicians, staff, and members of Kaiser Permanente for demonstrating that being successful comes from people being cared for because they are human beings first.

Tune in to watch the announcement this morning at the Care Innovations Summit, around 10:00 am EST,


Ted Eytan, MD