Engagement in outpatient care for persons living with HIV in the United States

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2015 Feb;31(2):177-82. doi: 10.1089/aid.2014.0049. Epub 2014 Nov 11.


Prior studies that have assessed engagement within the various stages of care for persons living with HIV (PLWH) studied patients receiving care in HIV medical care facilities. These data are not representative of care received throughout the United States, as not all PLWH receive care in HIV clinics. This study evaluated engagement in outpatient care and healthcare utilization for PLWH, beyond facilities that specialize in HIV. Cross-sectional data were from the 2009-2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Levels of care included receiving any care, receiving HIV-related care, established in care, engaged in care, and prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ARV). Factors associated with ARV prescription were determined by logistic regression. We analyzed data for ∼2.6 million outpatient clinic visits for PLWH. Of these, 90% were receiving HIV-related care, 86% were established in care, 75% were engaged in care, and 65% were prescribed ARV. In stratified analysis, the proportion of PWLH who were engaged in care varied by race/ethnicity (p<0.001) and ARV prescription varied significantly across the three age groups (p=0.004). Clinic visits within the past year did not differ for those prescribed ARV vs. not prescribed ARV [median, IQR=3.3 visits (1.8-5.6) vs. 3.6 visits (1.3-5.9); p=0.7]. Seeing a physician was associated with ARV prescription (OR=0.27, 95% CI=0.15-0.51), whereas routine engagement in care was not associated with ARV prescription (OR=0.99, 95% CI=0.96-1.03). Given that non-ARV-treated PLWH utilized outpatient care services at rates similar to ARV-treated PLWH, these routine clinic visits are missed opportunities for increasing ARV prescription in untreated patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / methods*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States
  • Young Adult