Background: The impact of the global economic crisis on HIV-related access and care remains unclear.
The objective of this systematic review of the literature was to evaluate the association between socioeconomic
factors and HIV diagnosis, and adherence to treatment, following the 2008 global economic crisis.
Method: A systematic search of PubMed and Scopus for studies published between January 2008 and October
2016 was conducted. Studies providing data on social, demographic, economic and cultural barriers associated
with HIV diagnosis and treatment were included.
Results: Of 33 studies included, 22 evaluated HIV testing and 11 evaluated treatment adherence. Medical history
of a sexually transmitted disease, knowledge of HIV-related risks, and age, were significantly associated with
HIV testing in most of the included studies. Absence of social support, and alcohol or substance use, were the
most common factors associated with adherence. Financial factors were not as commonly found to be related to
access to HIV diagnosis and HIV treatment adherence, compared to knowledge of HIV-related risks and social
Conclusion: The identification of persons who are less likely to test for HIV, and to adhere to HIV treatment,
may serve as a guide for public health interventions, especially in resource-limited areas.