Correlates of missed clinic visits among youth living with HIV

AIDS Care. 2018 Aug;30(8):982-989. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2018.1437252. Epub 2018 Feb 17.


Youth living with HIV (YLH) have significant problems with attending their medical appointments. Poor attendance, consequently, predicts viral non-suppression and other negative health outcomes. To identity targets of intervention, this cross-sectional study examined correlates of past-year missed clinic visits among YLH (N = 2125) attending HIV clinics in the United States and Puerto Rico. Thirty-six percent of YLH missed two or more visits in the past year. Several factors were associated with missed visits in our regression model. Among sociodemographic characteristics and HIV disclosure status, females (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.63, compared to males), Black YLH or YLH of mixed racial heritage (AORs = 1.76, 1.71, respectively, compared to White YLH), YLH with an unknown route of infection (AOR = 1.86, compared to YLH with perinatal infection), and YLH endorsing HIV disclosure (AOR = 1.37, compared to YLH not endorsing disclosure) were at greater risk for missed visits. Among behavioral health risks, YLH who endorsed marijuana use (AOR = 1.42), frequent other drug use (AOR = 1.60), or a history of incarceration (AOR = 1.27) had greater odds of missed visits than youth not endorsing these risks. Finally, two social-cognitive resources emerged as protective factors: adherence self-efficacy (AOR = .28) and social support (AOR = .88). We discuss how providers working with YLH can improve this population's retention outcomes.

Keywords: HIV; adolescents; mental health; retention; young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking
  • Office Visits*
  • Puerto Rico
  • Social Support
  • United States
  • Young Adult