An evaluation of nine culturally tailored interventions designed to enhance engagement in HIV care among transgender women of colour in the United States

J Int AIDS Soc. 2022 Oct;25 Suppl 5(Suppl 5):e25991. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25991.

Abstract

Introduction: Transgender women (TW) worldwide have a high prevalence of HIV, and TW with HIV encounter numerous healthcare barriers. It is critical to develop evidence-informed interventions to improve their engagement in healthcare to achieve durable viral suppression (VS). We evaluated whether participation in one of nine interventions designed specifically for TW was associated with improved engagement in HIV care among transgender women of colour (TWC).

Methods: Between 2013 and 2017, nine US organizations implemented nine distinct and innovative HIV care engagement interventions with diverse strategies, including: individual and group sessions, case management and navigation, outreach, drop-in spaces, peer support and/or incentives to engage TWC with HIV in care. The organizations enrolled 858 TWC, conducted surveys, captured intervention exposure data and extracted medical record data. Our evaluation of the interventions employed a pre-post design and examined four outcomes-any HIV care visit, antiretroviral therapy (ART) prescription, retention in HIV care and VS (both overall and among those with a clinic visit and viral load test), at baseline and every 6 months for 24 months. We employed logistic generalized estimating equations to assess the relative odds of each outcome at 12 and 24 months compared to baseline.

Results: Overall, 79% of participants were exposed to at least one intervention activity. Over 24 months of follow-up, participants received services for a median of over 6 hours (range: 3-69 hours/participant). Compared to baseline, significantly (p<0.05) greater odds were demonstrated at both 12 and 24 months for three outcomes: prescription of ART (ORs: 1.42 at 12 months, 1.49 at 24 months), VS among all participants (ORs: 1.49, 1.54) and VS among those with a clinic visit and viral load test (ORs: 1.53, 1.98). The outcomes of any HIV care visit and retention in HIV care had significantly greater odds (ORs: 1.38 and 1.58, respectively) only at 12 months compared to baseline.

Conclusions: These evaluation results illustrate promising approaches to improve engagement in HIV care and VS among TWC with HIV. Continued development, adaptation and scale-up of culturally tailored HIV care interventions for this key population are necessary to meet the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals.

Keywords: HIV infections; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; continuity of patient care; delivery of healthcare; evidence-informed interventions; transgender persons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Electrolytes
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Transgender Persons*
  • United States

Substances

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Electrolytes