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Leigh J. Paul; Lubeck, Deborah P.; Farnham, Paul; Fries, James F.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes & Human Retrovirology: April 1995
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How many more potential and actual workdays are lost by HIV patients than persons without HIV? To answer this question, we assessed differences in the number of workdays among a panel of AIDS patients, patients who were HIV positive but did not yet have AIDS, and comparison patients. The patients included persons who were employed and unemployed. Information on 1,346 patients was gathered from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1992, as part of the ongoing ATHOS (AIDS Time-Oriented Health Outcome Study) study. Data were collected every 3 months on AIDS and HIV-positive patients and every 6–12 months on the comparison patients. At the end of the study (December 31, 1992), 856 people were still enrolled. A total of 5,507 panel data points covering 3 years were available. Data were analyzed with a linear regression model. We found that patients with AIDS reported 29–32 and HIV-positive patients reported 9–13 more potential and actual workdays lost out of the previous 90 than the comparison patients, other variables being equal. All p values were <0.005, and most were <0.0001. We conclude that (a) while the AIDS patients showed substantially more workdays lost than the comparison group, the HIV-positive group showed only a modest number of more days lost than the comparison group and (b) that previous estimates exaggerated indirect morbidity costs.

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