The NC-LINK Project initiated both clinic-based retention services and state public health bridge counselor-based (SBCs) re-engagement services to retain and re-engage people living with HIV infection (PLWH) in care. The goal of this project is to compare efforts between clinic-based retention and SBC re-engagement services to determine whether patients are more or less likely to remain in HIV care services. Clinic appointment data were used to identify patients who were last seen more than 6-9 months prior. Patients either received clinic-based retention services only or were subsequently referred to the SBC re-engagement intervention if the retention services were unsuccessful. The frequency of re-engagement in care (180 days) and HIV suppression (VLS, within 1 year) was examined for patients in these two groups. The SBC group was less likely to have VLS at the visit prior to referral (adjusted OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.53, 2.72). Patients who were referred to the SBC were less likely to re-engage in care within 180 days as compared to those who received clinic-based retention services only (adjusted OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.21, 0.41).
Keywords: HIV care; Out-of-care; Patient care; Re-engagement; Retention in care.