Skip to main content

Medical–Legal Partnerships to Support Continuity of Care for Immigrants Impacted by HIV: Lessons Learned from California

Abstract

The United States (US) has experienced a surge of anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric, raising concerns about the influence on health outcomes for immigrants living in the US. We conducted qualitative interviews (n = 20) with health care and social service providers, attorneys, and legal/policy experts in California to understand how agencies were maintaining access to HIV care and prevention for immigrant clients. We conducted a thematic analysis to describe the role of medical–legal partnerships (MLPs) and document best practices. Informants reported high demand for legal services. Referrals were facilitated by case managers, medical providers, and pre-existing relationships between clinics and legal agencies. Informants identified a need for additional funding and further guidance on screening for and supporting patients with legal needs. MLPs have the capacity to create sustainable, efficient, comprehensive structural changes that minimize barriers to HIV prevention and treatment and improve health outcomes among immigrant populations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Perreira KM, Pedroza JM. Policies of exclusion: implications for the health of immigrants and their children. Annu Rev Public Health. 2019;40:147–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Artiga S, Ubri P. Living in an immigrant family in America: how fear and toxic stress are affecting daily life, well-being, & health. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2017. http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Living-in-an-Immigrant-Family-in-America. Accessed 11 June 2019.

  3. Public Policy Institute of California. Just the Facts: Immigrants in California. 2019. https://www.ppic.org/publication/immigrants-in-california/. Accessed 11 June 2019.

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, 2017; vol 29. 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillance-report-2017-vol-29.pdf. Accessed 11 June 2019.

  5. Schulden JD, Painter TM, Song B, et al. HIV testing histories and risk factors among migrants and recent immigrants who received rapid HIV testing from three community-based organizations. J Immigr Minor Health. 2014;16(5):798–810.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Guest G, MacQueen KM, Namey EE. Applied thematic analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage; 2012.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  7. Martinez O, Boles J, Muñoz-Laboy M, et al. Bridging health disparity gaps through the use of medical legal partnerships in patient care: a systematic review. J Law Med Ethics. 2017;45:260–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Sandel M, Hansen M, Kahn R, et al. Medical-legal partnerships: transforming primary care by addressing the legal needs of vulnerable populations. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010;29(9):1697–705.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Colvin JD, Nelson B, Cronin K. Integrating social workers into medical-legal partnerships: comprehensive problem solving for patients. Soc Work. 2012;57(4):333–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Boumil MM, Freitas DF, Freitas CF. Multidisciplinary representation of patients: the potential for ethical issues and professional duty conflicts in the medical-legal partnership model. J Health Care Law Policy. 2010;13:107–38.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, Office of the President, University of California, Grant Number RP15-SF-096. The authors wish to thank all study participants who generously put their time and thought into the interviews. We are also grateful for the support from colleagues Emma Bohannon, who assisted with data collection in San Francisco, and Emma Wilde Botta, who assisted the team with codebook development.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shannon M. Fuller.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fuller, S.M., Steward, W.T., Martinez, O. et al. Medical–Legal Partnerships to Support Continuity of Care for Immigrants Impacted by HIV: Lessons Learned from California. J Immigrant Minority Health 22, 212–215 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00919-0

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00919-0

Keywords

  • Medical–legal partnerships
  • HIV care and prevention
  • Immigrant
  • Qualitative research
  • United States