142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Patient Navigation for Clients Testing HIV+: Streamlining the Linkage to Care Process and Reaching the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Goals

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Joseph Olsen, MPH , Prevention Department, NO/AIDS Task Force, New Orleans, LA
Caitlin Canfield, MPH , Prevention & Primary Care Departments, NO/AIDS Task Force, New Orleans, LA
The CDC recommends that HIV testing programs offer services to link and retain people living with HIV/AIDS in medical care.[1] On July 13th 2010 the National HIV/AIDS Strategy set forth a goal of increasing national linkage to care rates from 65% to 85%.[2]Prior to 2012, our CBO linked newly diagnosed HIV positive clients to primary medical care services through a CDC-funded Comprehensive Risk Counselling Services Coordinator and a state-funded HIV Counselling & Testing Coordinator. This method sustained a 50% linkage to care rate. To improve linkage rates, we implemented a HRSA funded Linkage to Care program in 2012 that included a Patient Navigator position. The rates for newly diagnosed clients linked to care within 90 days of their first test increased from 50% (prior to September 1, 2012) to 87% (September 1, 2012-November 30, 2013). In changing from a team to an individual approach, our agency was able to meet the national goal and create a simpler, more reliable linkage system for clients, case managers, HIV counselors, and providers. Unmeasured program improvements include clear protocols for linking newly diagnosed clients to care and re-engaging out-of-care clients, increased knowledge among prevention staff of the linkage process, improved access to Partner Services, and better program monitoring/evaluation. Linkage to care is a crucial part of HIV prevention and positive health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS. There are multiple models that can help programs across the country grow closer to the goals set by the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/prevention/programs/pwp/linkage.html

[2] http://aids.gov/federal-resources/national-hiv-aids-strategy/overview/

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the benefits of using a Patient Navigator to link clients to medical care from HIV Testing services Compare multiple linkage-to-care strategies used to achieve successful linkage from rapid testing to provider appointments Demonstrate how to create a successful linkage program without funding for a Patient Navigator List the improvements possible by hiring a Patient Navigator who is responsible for the linkage process

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I manage CDC and state funded HIV counseling and testing programs (including linkage to care) around the state. Our programs have had success with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy linkage to care goals. I am interested in sharing our framework to help other CBO's develop their strategies. I have presented twice at the United States Conference on AIDS; Once on Patient Navigation and once co-presented with the CDC and local government on Advancing High Impact Prevention.
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.