Online Program

Peer Navigators Effectiveness in Increasing Linkage to HIV Care: Best Practices from 13 AIDS United Access to Care Programs

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Erin Nortrup, MSW, AIDS United, Washington DC, DC
Maura Riordan, MSW, AIDS United, Washington, DC
background: United’s Access to Care (A2C) initiative supports innovative, evidence-based, collaborative programs to connect thousands of low-income and marginalized individuals living with HIV to supportive services and health care across the US. Many of these programs include Peer Navigators, based on their high degree of effectiveness in engaging people who have become disconnected from care. AIDS United examined thirteen programs from eleven organizations employing Peer Navigators and identified eleven best practices used across organizations.

methods: AIDS United examined the roles, responsibilities, facilitators and barriers for Peer Navigators via survey results, interview data, program policies and procedures manuals, and peer training manuals. Key questions included responsibilities of Peer Navigators, supports for maintaining high levels of retention, challenges and strategies to overcome them and critical training and preparation.

results: AIDS United identified eleven best practices that support effective implementation of Peer Navigation programs and successful retention of people living with HIV in care including appropriate training and clinical support, role definition, structural supports for peer programming, communication, documentation and sustainability planning. Through a partnership with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, these interventions have been evaluated for success at engaging clients in medical care and for improved health outcomes; preliminary data will be presented.

conclusions: Peer programming is a promising approach for engaging and retaining people living with HIV in care, particularly those who have been marginalized or disconnected from HIV services; it requires thoughtful planning as well as building structures to support ongoing communication and collaboration within the medical team.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify best practices that support effective implementation of Peer Navigation programs Discuss several examples of peer programs that exemplify these best practices.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Peer Counselors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project officer for a number of the peer programs included in this analysis. I have a Masters in Social Work as well as many years of experience in implementing and monitoring HIV prevention and care interventions, including peer navigation programs.
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.

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