Positive Charge: Filling the Gaps in the U.S. HIV Continuum of Care
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Adequate engagement in HIV care is necessary for the achievement of optimal health outcomes and for the reduction of HIV transmission. Positive Charge (PC) was a national HIV linkage and re-engagement in care program implemented by AIDS United. This study describes three PC programs, the characteristics of their participants, and the continuum of engagement in care for their participants. Eighty-eight percent of participants were engaged in care post PC enrollment. Sixty-nine percent were retained in care, and 46 % were virally suppressed at follow-up. Older participants were more likely to be engaged, retained, and virally suppressed. Differences by race and gender in HIV care and treatment varied across PC programs, reflecting the diverse target populations, locations, and strategies employed by the PC grantees. There is an urgent need for programs that promote HIV care and treatment among vulnerable populations, including young people living with HIV. There is also an urgent need for additional research to test the effectiveness of promising linkage and retention in care strategies, such as peer navigation.
KeywordsHIV linkage to care HIV retention in care Program evaluation Continuum of care Spectrum of engagement in care HIV cascade
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the PC intervention staff for their dedication and for the individuals who participated in the PC intervention. This evaluation Project is supported by a Grant from AIDS United to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The overall Positive Charge Project was supported by an unrestricted Grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to AIDS United. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health only had a relationship with AIDS United (not BMS). We would also like to acknowledge those whose who took time to review the manuscript. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of AIDS United, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, or the grantees of the Positive Charge initiative.
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