Researchers troubleshoot barriers to HIV care and treatment after diagnosis

For immediate release

When an individual is diagnosed with HIV, it is important that they are enrolled in an HIV care and treatment program to get the medical and emotional support they need. Evidence shows that expansions of the anti-retroviral treatment (ART) eligibility criteria prior to the current “universal treatment” recommendation increased the amount of people initiating ART in a timely manner but, in sub-Saharan Africa, linkage to care after diagnosis remains a challenge.

To investigate, a research team including CUNY ISPH Investigator Elizabeth Kelvin led a cohort study among newly diagnosed HIV-positive people in South Africa. The results were published in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

The study found that people’s beliefs (e.g. positive attitudes about the impact of enrolling in HIV care and about ART) and relationships (e.g. disclosure of HIV status) were positively associated with linkage to care. This suggests that interventions that educate about the benefits of HIV care and ART as well as disclosure support might have an impact on linkage to care and should be evaluated.

“It is also important that we continue to examine what it means to individuals to engage in care and treatment and develop better measures of individuals’ beliefs, including stigma perceptions,” Kelvin says.

About the Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health at the City University of New York
The CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) was founded on the notion that substantial improvements in population health can be efficiently achieved through better implementation of existing strategies, policies, and interventions across multiple sectors. We study how to translate and scale-up evidence-based interventions and policies within clinical and community settings in order to improve population health and reduce health disparities. CUNY ISPH. Pursing population health gains through better implementation. cunyisph.org. Follow us on Twitter: @CUNYISPH.

About the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy
The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to teaching, research and service that creates a healthier New York City and helps promote equitable, efficient and evidence-based solutions to pressing health problems facing cities around the world. For more information, visit sph.cuny.edu.

Susie Hoffman, Cheng-Shiun Leu, Gita Ramjee, Kelly Blanchard, Anisha D. Gandhi, Lucia O’Sullivan, Elizabeth A. Kelvin, Theresa M. Exner, Joanne E. Mantell, Naomi Lince-Deroche. AIDS and Behavior (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02688-1

Reposted with permission from CUNY SPH. Original post here.

Team