Retention in care of persons newly diagnosed with HIV: outcomes of the Outreach Initiative

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007;21 Suppl 1:S40-8. doi: 10.1089/apc.2007.9988.


The purpose of this study was to contribute to the limited literature on newly diagnosed persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) by describing their retention in HIV primary care and changes in barriers to care over 12 months of follow-up subsequent to enrolling in outreach interventions. Medical chart review and interview data were collected from 104 newly diagnosed PLWHA at baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. Almost all newly diagnosed PLWHA (92%) had an HIV care appointment in the 6 months post-enrollment. Newly diagnosed persons were more likely to have undetectable viral loads at 6 and 12-month follow-up compared to baseline with 45% undetectable by 12 months. Adequate retention in care (at least one appointment in each 6-month window) was significantly associated with reductions in substance use and improvements in insurance coverage. Improvements in mental health status and the elimination of stigma as a barrier were not associated with retention, but those who reported stigma as a barrier at baseline and continued to report stigma at 6 months had less than adequate retention. These results suggest the need for early and intensive outreach interventions for newly diagnosed persons. Future directions include testing outreach interventions in a randomized clinical trial, and evaluating programs that integrate early HIV identification and intensive outreach to enroll and retain persons newly infected with HIV in care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Primary Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychology
  • Time Factors