Interventions to Improve HIV Care Continuum Outcomes Among Individuals Released From Prison or Jail: Systematic Literature Review

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 Mar 1;86(3):271-285. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002523.


Background: HIV care continuum outcomes deteriorate among people returning from incarceration. Interventions to improve care outcomes postincarceration have been characterized by substantial heterogeneity in approach, outcome metrics, and results. A large number of recently published interventions have not been systematically reviewed.

Methods: We searched peer reviewed and scholarly databases for published and gray literature describing interventions to improve HIV care continuum outcomes among individuals released from prison or jail. We systematically screened quantitative and qualitative intervention reports published through 2018, then extracted and analyzed study data using a classification scheme that we developed for categorizing intervention levels and strategies.

Results: We included 23 reports from the peer-reviewed literature, 2 from gray literature, and 2 from conference abstracts (27 total). Seventeen studies were classified as individual level, 3 as biomedical level, 2 as organizational level, and 5 as multilevel. Nine studies were randomized controlled trials, 4 of which reported power calculations. Fifteen studies were quasiexperimental; one was a case study. Eleven studies were conducted in prisons, 7 in jails, and 9 in both prisons and jails. Of 11 studies reporting hypothesis tests, 5 found statistically significant effect sizes on primary outcomes.

Conclusions: Interventions that demonstrate postrelease improvements in clinic attendance and viral suppression include patient navigation strategies, especially involving peer support, and substance use treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Data Management
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Jails*
  • Patient Navigation
  • Prisoners
  • Prisons*