Barriers and Facilitators to Retaining and Reengaging HIV Clients in Care: A Case Study of North Carolina

J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2016 Nov;15(6):486-493. doi: 10.1177/2325957415616491. Epub 2015 Nov 13.


Retention in HIV care is critical to decrease disease-related mortality and morbidity and achieve national benchmarks. However, a myriad of barriers and facilitators impact retention in care; these can be understood within the social-ecological model. To elucidate the unique factors that impact consistent HIV care engagement, a qualitative case study was conducted in North Carolina to examine the barriers and facilitators to retain and reengage HIV clients in care. HIV professionals (n = 21) from a variety of health care settings across the state participated in interviews that were transcribed and analyzed for emergent themes. Respondents described barriers to care at all levels within the HIV prevention and care system including intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and public policy. Participants also described recent statewide initiatives with the potential to improve care engagement. Results from this study may assist other states with similar challenges to identify needed programs and priorities to optimize client retention in HIV care.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; health providers; reengagement; retention; social–ecological model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Socioeconomic Factors