The provider role in client engagement in HIV care

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007;21 Suppl 1:S77-84. doi: 10.1089/apc.2007.9984.


This multisite, qualitative study examined the process by which persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) engage in primary HIV medical care for treatment. Using a grounded theory approach, the analysis of narrative data from semi-structured in-depth interviews with PLWHA (n = 76) led to the development of a model describing a cyclic process of engaging in--and falling out of--care. Perceptions of the client-provider relationship emerged as a central element of the process by which persons with HIV engaged--or remained--in care. Provider behaviors that were characterized as engaging, validating, and partnering facilitated engagement and retention in care; behaviors described as paternalistic served as barriers to care. Participants indicated that they desired a care partnership with an empathetic provider who had effective communication skills. These findings provide recommendations for health providers to engage and retain hard-to-reach PLWHA in timely and appropriate HIV care and services.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Physician-Patient Relations*