AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Supplement 1, pp 5–13 | Cite as

Developing a Patient Navigation Program to Improve Engagement in HIV Medical Care and Viral Suppression: A Demonstration Project Protocol

  • Casey L. SchumannEmail author
  • Ryan P. Westergaard
  • Alison E. Meier
  • Mari L. Ruetten
  • James M. Vergeront
Original Paper


Individuals diagnosed and living with HIV who are out of care or who have persistent viremia are at risk for poor health outcomes and are estimated to account for two-thirds of all new HIV infections. As part of a six-state demonstration project to improve access to care for hard-to-reach populations, Wisconsin developed an HIV-specific patient navigation program to improve engagement in HIV care and viral suppression for populations at risk for poor HIV care outcomes. Patient navigators worked with individuals who were out of HIV medical care or were at risk of falling out of care over nine months to identify and address barriers to care. This manuscript describes the patient navigation program and rationale, and lessons learned that should be considered by sites developing similar programs.


Navigation Case management HIV Retention Viral suppression 



This project was supported by Grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, under its Special Projects of National Significance, H97HA22698, and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Part B Program, X07HA00027 and X08HA28015.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Considerations

The implementation and evaluation of the patient navigation program does not constitute human subjects research under 45 CFR 46.102 (d) per the University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Sciences Institutional Review Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Casey L. Schumann
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Ryan P. Westergaard
    • 2
  • Alison E. Meier
    • 3
  • Mari L. Ruetten
    • 1
  • James M. Vergeront
    • 1
  1. 1.AIDS/HIV Program, Division of Public HealthWisconsin Department of Health ServicesMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious Disease, Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  3. 3.University of Wisconsin Medical FoundationMadisonUSA
  4. 4.MadisonUSA

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