Evaluation of a Client-Centered Linkage Intervention for Patients Newly Diagnosed with HIV at an Urban United States LGBT Center: The Linkage to Care Specialist Project

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Linkage to care (LTC) is a key element of the HIV care continuum, and a crucial bridge from testing and diagnosis to receipt of antiretroviral therapies and viral suppression. In 2012, the Los Angeles LGBT Center hired a full-time LTC specialist (LTC-S), who developed a unique client-centered approach to LTC. This single-arm demonstration project was designed to systematically evaluate the LTC-S intervention. Individuals who were newly diagnosed with HIV between March 2014 and September 2015 were eligible for enrollment. The LTC-S draws heavily from principles of motivational interviewing and strengths-based case management, helping to normalize fears while guiding clients at a pace that reflects individual needs and resources. These tailored, targeted methods facilitate the rapid development of rapport, enabling the LTC-S to help clients address particular reactions and barriers to care more effectively. Of the 118 newly HIV-diagnosed individuals who enrolled, 111 (94.1%) saw an HIV primary care provider within 3 months of diagnosis; the LTC-S spent an average of 2.1 h working with each participant. Enrolled clients were a racially diverse, urban group composed primarily of young men who have sex with men. The LTC-S intervention was effective in promoting LTC among this sample. Our results demonstrate that client-centered, resiliency-based LTC services can be seamlessly integrated into an existing HIV testing program, thereby increasing the chances that newly diagnosed individuals will link to care.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles