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August 14, 1987

Homelessness Among Hospitalized Patients With the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in New York City

JAMA. 1987;258(6):779-780. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400060055019

To the Editor.—  Homelessness has become a problem for many patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), as well as for the health care provision system in New York City. To determine the prevalence of homelessness among hospitalized AIDS patients, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients (a total of 231) in whom the diagnosis of AIDS was made at our hospital over a four-year period (November 1981 to October 1985).

Study.—  Thirty patients (13%) were identified as homeless on admission to the hospital; they had been living in city shelters or on the streets. In contrast to nonhomeless AIDS patients, these individuals were more likely to be black or Hispanic and to be intravenous drug users (Table). They had a significantly higher incidence of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and a lower incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma. More homeless than nonhomeless patients were admitted with pulmonary symptoms and chest