Barriers, opportunities, and potential costs of expanding HIV support services

AIDS Care. 2023 Aug;35(8):1083-1090. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2023.2179593. Epub 2023 Feb 20.


Experiencing housing instability, food insecurity, and financial stress can negatively impact retention in care and treatment adherence for people living with HIV. Expanding services that support socioeconomic needs could help improve HIV outcomes. Our objective was to investigate barriers, opportunities, and costs of expanding socioeconomic support programs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with organizations serving U.S. Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients. Costs were estimated from interviews, organization documents, and city-specific wages. Organizations reported complex patient, organization, program, and system challenges as well as several opportunities for expansion. The average one-year per-person cost for engaging new clients was $196 for transportation, $612 for financial aid, $650 for food aid, and $2498 for short-term housing (2020 USD). Understanding potential expansion costs is important for funders and local stakeholders. This study provides a sense of magnitude for costs to scale-up programs to better meet socioeconomic needs of low-income patients living with HIV.

Keywords: Support services; financial aid; food aid; housing; scale-up costs; socioeconomic needs; transportation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections* / therapy
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Poverty