The interaction between geographic mobility and risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection is well recognized, but what happens to those same individuals, once infected, as they transition to living with the infection? Does mobility affect their transition into medical care? If so, do mobile and nonmobile populations achieve similar success with antiretroviral treatment? The definition of mobility has changed over the centuries to encompass a complex phenotype including permanent migration, frequent travel, circular migration, and travel to and from treatment centers. The heterogeneity of these definitions leads to discordant findings. Investigations show that mobility has an impact on infection risk, but fewer data exist on the impact of geographic mobility on medical care and treatment outcomes. This review will examine existing data regarding the impact of geographic mobility on access to and maintenance in medical care and on adherence to antiretroviral therapy for those living with human immunodeficiency virus infection. It will also expand the concept of mobility to include data on the impact of the distance from residence to clinic on medical care and treatment adherence. Our conclusions are that the existing literature is limited by varying definitions of mobility and the inherent oversimplification necessary to apply a "mobility measure" in a statistical analysis. The impact of mobility on antiretroviral treatment outcomes deserves further exploration to both define the phenomenon and target interventions to these at-risk populations.
- antiretroviral treatment
- geographic mobility
- human immunodeficiency virus HIV
- mobile population
ASJC Scopus subject areas