Introduction: Universal health coverage (UHC) was introduced in Iran in 2014. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usage rate of health services by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients after UHC implementation.
Material and methods: In 2018, in a cross-sectional study, we evaluated the outpatients’ needs (within its previous month) and inpatients’ needs (within its previous 6 months) of HIV/AIDS patients in Isfahan province (the center of Iran). Concurrently, we estimated the essential health care services that HIV/AIDS patients have to receive regularly, including vaccination for hepatitis B, measurement of CD4, tuberculosis (TB) assessments and TB treatment, anti-retroviral therapy, examination of viral load, treatment approach, and drug side effects counseling. Two checklists were used for assessing the utilization of health services and essential health cares for HIV/AIDS patients, validated by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran. Data were analyzed by χ2 test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and Spearman’s correlation test.
Results: Two hundred and thirteen HIV/AIDS patients completed the questionnaires. The mean age of participants was 41.14 ± 9.23. The outpatient service utilization rate was 31.94% in the previous month and the rate of hospitalization was 126 per 1,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the previous 6 months. The majority of HIV/AIDS patients received essential health services more often than the national standard goals estimation.
Conclusions: After UHC implementation, the utilization rate of outpatients and inpatients services in HIV/AIDS patients was more than similar indices in the general population. In addition, HIV/AIDS patients received essential health services adequately.