Health outcomes and healthcare utilization of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders living with HIV in Hawai‘i: A mixed-methods study

Misty Pacheco, Joy Lynn Agner, Tara K. Myers, Jeena Franco, John P. Barile, Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, Julie A. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Past research shows mixed outcomes in terms of HIV-related disparities among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHOPI). This study investigates HIV-related disparities among NHOPI living with HIV in Hawai‘i. Design: An explanatory sequential design was utilized. The quantitative portion analyzed survey data from a statewide Ryan White Needs Assessment (N = 398) to examine the differences in viral suppression and satisfaction with care between NHOPI and other ethnic groups. Utilizing the behavioral model for vulnerable populations (BMVP), semi-structured interviews (N = 16) were conducted next to explain what factors play a role in satisfaction with care and viral suppression when it comes to NHOPI living with HIV in Hawai‘i. Results: Among the 398 participants 13% were NHOPI. NHOPI were more likely to have a viral load of ≥10,000 copies/mL compared to those who didn’t identify as NHOPI. However, there were no significant differences for other viral load levels (20–199 or 200–9999), and only 20 participants (5.2%) had a viral load of 10,000 copies/mL or more. No significant ethnic differences were found in satisfaction with medical care. In the qualitative phase, factors from all domains of the BMVP were represented within the four themes identified: (1) Care coordination is essential- with AIDs service organizations taking the lead; (2) HIV care, as well as overall health, is defined by the effectiveness of medication; (3) Initial diagnosis is a critical moment for intervention; and (4) Aspects of culture are intangible. Conclusion: Among NHOPI in Hawai‘i who are engaged in case management, there appears to be no substantial disparities in either viral load or satisfaction with care compared to other ethnic groups. Despite this, qualitative findings provide insights on how ethnicity and culture may still be playing a role. Addressing all domains of the BMVP is crucial to addressing this.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1858
Number of pages18
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2022


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • HIV care continuum
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Pacific Islander
  • culturally-relevant care
  • culture and healthcare
  • healthcare utilization
  • viral suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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