Linking HIV+ adolescents into care: The effects of relationships between local health departments and adolescent medicine clinics

J HIV AIDS Soc Serv. 2013;12(3-4):10.1080/15381501.2013.817280. doi: 10.1080/15381501.2013.817280.

Abstract

Background: The fragmentation of HIV-related diagnostic and treatment services, especially for youth, is a significant barrier for transitioning to care. The study identified key elements that affected care linkage efforts.

Methods: We conducted 64 interviews across 15 clinical sites. The constant comparative method was used.

Results: Primary linkage to care processes are illustrated through three geographically diverse case studies. Factors included: inter-agency relationships, data sharing protocols, and service duplication concerns. Program improvement strategies were discussed.

Conclusions: A strong, citywide network is helpful in coordinating care linkage services. These partnerships will be critical in effectively realizing the goals of the National HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: Adolescents; HIV; Linkage to care; health departments.