245665 Title: Overview of the process of linking HIV positive inmates to Care after release from prison: Perspectives from corrections and community-based providers

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:30 AM

Christian Gordan, LPN, ICN , Correctional Medical Services, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Hagerstown, MD
Kelley Stewart , JACQUES Initiative, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Menna Girma, MPH , 600 N. Wolfe St, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Issue: Of the 29,021 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Maryland as of December 31, 2008, 5% (n=1,452) resided within corrections. Comprehensive discharge planning initiated before HIV-positive persons are released is key to successful linkage to care services post-release and requires collaborative efforts between correctional and community agencies.

Description: The Baltimore Ryan White (RW) Part A Program and Maryland Department of Corrections (DPSCS) designed a continuity of care protocol for HIV positive prison inmates post-release. DPSCS provides integrated HIV treatment for inmates and ensures that barriers to care are addressed prior to release. DPSCS also assigns HIV positive inmates to RW providers who provide core medical and supportive services for persons who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease. RW providers work with DPSCS staff to connect persons with needed services (e.g. housing, drug treatment, etc.) and establish primary medical care appointments (PMC) shortly after release.

Results: Of the 119 persons assigned from August 2009 to July 2010 who have been released, 59 (50%) were connected to care, 38 (32%) remain in care, and 21 (18%) were lost to follow-up.

Recommendations: Collaboration with other AIDS organizations and programs that assist recently released inmates can be especially useful. RW providers are currently reaching out to parole and probation officers to locate releasees and engage them in medical care. Long-term linkage indicators and clinical outcomes could be tracked to measure effectiveness on treatment adherence and reducing the community's viral load.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
To discuss the system of linking persons incarcerated in state prisons to HIV care post-release, overall lessons learned from its implementation, and perspectives from corrections and community health providers.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Correctional Facility

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as an outreach worker in the linkage to care program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.