Persons with schizophrenia face elevated risk of infection with HIV. While HIV therapy is demanding, patients diagnosed with both conditions also require appropriate and consistent management of their psychiatric illness, for the same reasons that generally apply to persons with schizophrenia and because untreated psychiatric illness can interfere with full participation in HIV care. This study examines the correlates of use of and persistence on antipsychotic medications among HIV-infected individuals with schizophrenia, using merged New Jersey HIV/AIDS surveillance data and paid Medicaid claims. Persistence was defined as at least 2 months of medication use in a quarter. We identified 350 individuals who were dually diagnosed with HIV and schizophrenia. Overall, 81% of these beneficiaries had at least one claim for an antipsychotic medication at some point between 1992 and 1998. Multivariate techniques were used, including simple logistic regressions on use and robust longitudinal regressions that controlled for repeated observations on the same individual and treatment gaps. Among users of antipsychotic medications, persistence was very low at 37%. Racial/ethnic minorities were less likely to receive atypical antipsychotic medications. Use of atypical antipsychotics was associated with higher persistence. Our study confirmed past findings of racial disparities in the receipt of atypical antipsychotic medications. Findings suggest that use of atypical medications may benefit individuals dually diagnosed with HIV and serious mental illness.
- Antipsychotic medications