Making the Connection: Using Videoconferencing to Increase Linkage to Care for Incarcerated Persons Living with HIV Post-release
Incarcerated persons living with HIV (PLWH) have relatively high levels of HIV care engagement and antiretroviral therapy adherence during incarceration, but few are able to maintain these levels upon reentry into the community. In Louisiana, PLWH nearing release from prisons were offered video conferences with case managers housed in community based organizations aimed at facilitating linkage to care in the community. Of the 144 persons who received a video conference during the study period, 74.3% had linked to HIV care in the community within 90 days after release. Compared to the comparison group (n = 94), no statistically significant difference in linkage rate was detected (p > 0.05). Nonetheless, the video conference supplement was positively received by clients and case management agencies in the community and the lack of a detectable impact may be due to early difficulties in intervention delivery and study design limitations. Further study is needed to determine the value of the video conferencing supplement in other settings.
KeywordsIncarceration Telemedicine Linkage to care HIV Case management
This publication was supported by Grant No. H97HA22694 funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the amount of $1,855,873 awarded to the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – STD/HIV Program. No percentage of this project was financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. The authors wish to thank Raman Singh, MD, Medical/Mental Health Director for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, for his resolute support of the intervention. The authors would also like to thank the staff of the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health – STD/HIV Program; Louisiana’s Ryan White Part A and Part B case management agencies, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division’s Telemedicine program, and the clients who participated in the intervention for their many contributions to the intervention.
This project was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Human Services and Resources Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Ryan White Part F Special Projects of National Significance (Grant #H97HA22694).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Karissa M. Page has received an honorarium for participation in a regional focus group pertaining to this intervention from Gilead Sciences, Inc. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent adhering to the tenants of the Declaration of Helsinki was obtained from all individuals participants included in this intervention.
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