Integrating a Statewide HIV Call Line: An Innovative and Tailored Approach for Rapid Linkage to HIV Care

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. Nov-Dec 2017;28(6):953-963. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


Only 80% of people living with HIV (PLWH) in the United States are linked to care, 40% are engaged in care, and 30% have achieved viral load suppression. We addressed linkage to care with a pilot program of a statewide referral call center to connect PLWH and their non-HIV specialty providers to HIV care. Callers received tailored referrals from nurses trained to work in an existing call center, using an electronic assessment tool and a comprehensive HIV provider list. Of 122 calls, 85% were from PLWH and 15% from providers calling about a patient. Overall, 88 of 104 (84.6%) PLWH and 16 of 18 (88.9%) providers accepted care referral, including 13% of PLWH callers without prior HIV care. Results indicated that the call center was an acceptable strategy for HIV care referral; the use of an existing call center facilitated feasibility of the program and improved linkage to HIV care.

Keywords: HIV; call line; linkage to care; referral.

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Nurses
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Viral Load