HIV Provider Experiences Engaging and Retaining Patients in HIV Care and Treatment: “A Soft Place to Fall”

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Abstract

Engaging and retaining persons with HIV in care and treatment is key to reducing new HIV infections in the United States. Understanding the experiences, barriers, and facilitators to engaging and retaining persons in HIV care from the perspective of HIV care providers could help provide insight into how best to achieve this goal. We present qualitative data from 30 HIV care providers in three cities. We identified three facilitators to HIV care: providing a medical home, team-based care and strategies for engaging and retaining patients in HIV care, and focus on provider–patient relationships. We identified two main barriers to care: facility-level policies and patient-level challenges. Our findings suggest that providers embrace the medical home model for engaging patients but need support to identify aspects of the model that promote engagement in long-term HIV care, improve the quality of the provider–patient relationship, and address persistent logistical barriers, such as transportation.

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