Why is this important?
Because housing is the greatest unmet need of persons living with HIV/AIDS. (1)
National research shows that 60% of all persons living with HIV/AIDS report a lifetime experience of homelessness or housing instability. (2)
How do our clients benefit?
Stable housing enables persons living with HIV/AIDS to obtain and adhere to life-saving medical care and treatments. Improving our clients’ housing status results in an increase in their CD4 cell counts – they experience better overall physical and mental health. (3)
Reduced Risk of HIV Transmission
Improved housing status also decreases the likelihood that persons living with HIV/AIDS will participate in high risk behaviors that can lead to transmission of HIV and new HIV infections. Access to stable housing enables our clients to adhere to their treatment and medication regimens, which lowers their HIV viral load and reduces the risk of HIV transmission. (4)(5)
What makes housing an efficient use of funds and resources?
Reduced Reliance on More Expensive Public Services
The stability and improved health that clients experience through AIDS Alabama’s housing programs reduces clients’ utilization of costly emergency and inpatient hospital services. (6)
Cost Effective HIV Prevention
Improving clients’ housing status greatly reduces their HIV risk behaviors. In turn, each prevented HIV infection saves an estimated $303,000 in discounted lifetime medical costs. (7)
(1) The National AIDS Housing Coalition. www.nationalaidshousing.org
(2) Aidala, A., Columbia University. Homelessness, Housing Instability and Housing Problems among Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. Paper presented at the Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit, June 2005.
(3) Kidder, D.P., Wolitski, R.J., Campsmith, M.L., Nakamura, G.V. (2007). Health status, health care use, medication use, and medication adherence in homeless and housed people living with HIV/AIDS. American Journal of Public Health.
(4) Aidala, A., Cross, J.E., Stall, R., Harre, D., Sumartojo, E. (2005). Housing status and HIV risk behaviors: Implications for prevention and policy, AIDS and Behavior, 9(3): 251-265.
(5) Holtgrave, D.R., Curran, J.W. (2006). What works, and what remains to be done, in HIV prevention in the United States. Annual Review of Public Health, 27: 261-275.
(6) Bendixen, A., AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The Relationship of Housing Status and Health Care Access: Results from the Chicago Housing for Health Partnership; Wilkins, C., Corporation for Supportive Housing. Housing Status and Health Care Access. Papers presented at the Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit, October 2006.
(7) Schackman, B.R., Gebo, K.A., Walensky, R.P., Losina, E., Muccio, T., Sax, P.E., Weinstein, M.C., Seage, G.R. 3rd, Moore, R.D., Freedberg, K.A. (2006). The lifetime cost of current human immunodeficiency virus care in the United States, Medical Care, 44(11): 990-7.