Online Program

Improving access to HIV care through the Positive Charge Intervention: Lessons learned from five US cities

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Catherine Maulsby, PhD, MPH, Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Kriti Jain, MSPH, PhD(c), Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Suzanne Kinsky, MPH, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Vignetta E. Charles, PhD, AIDS United, Washington, DC
Maura Riordan, MSW, AIDS United, Washington, DC
Positive Charge Intervention Team, JHSPH, Baltimore, MD
Erin Nortrup, MSW, AIDS United, Washington DC, DC
David Holtgrave, PhD, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background:  AIDS United’s Positive Charge (PC) was a multi-organizational HIV linkage to care program implemented in five U.S. locations from 2010-2013. PC worked with individuals who were never in care or who had fallen out of care, a sub-population of people living with HIV (PLWH) who are harder to engage in care than the newly diagnosed.  Despite the public health significance of linkage to care, few studies have documented lessons learned from implementing linkage to care programs.

Methods: To better understand the process of linkage and re-engagement in care, two researchers conducted 35 interviews with care coordinators and program supervisors at 20 PC implementing agencies. Interviews focused on barriers to implementation, facilitating factors, and collaboration between agencies. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using conventional content analysis.

Results: Six recommendations emerged from the data: recognize and plan for a complex constellation of client needs; nurture and cultivate inter-organization networks; proactively establish procedures to share health information about participants; create strong relationships with medical providers; involve peers to support linkage to care; and address ongoing organizational management barriers, such as frequent staff turnover and training.

Conclusions:  In light of the goals of the National HIV AIDS Strategy, these cross-cutting findings have important implications for implementing national policy. This study is of utility to community-based linkage and re-engagement in care interventions.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe cross-cutting structural lesson learned from the implementation of a national U.S. linkage to care program

Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Practice-Based Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of evaluation for the access to care project and hold a PhD in social and behavioral sciences.
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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