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06.01.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 8/2018

AIDS and Behavior 8/2018

Peer Support and the HIV Continuum of Care: Results from a Multi-Site Randomized Clinical Trial in Three Urban Clinics in the United States

AIDS and Behavior > Ausgabe 8/2018
Howard J. Cabral, Kendra Davis-Plourde, Mariana Sarango, Jane Fox, Joseph Palmisano, Serena Rajabiun
Wichtige Hinweise
We dedicate this manuscript to the memory of Tammy Gilliam, whose commitment and devotion to her patients and her family was an inspiration to all.


Racial/ethnic minorities living with HIV and behavioral health co-morbidities are more likely to be disengaged from HIV primary care. Peer programs have been effective in HIV outreach and prevention but effectiveness of such programs for retention in care and viral suppression is understudied. Subjects (n = 348) were randomized in equal allocation to a peer navigation and education intervention versus standard clinical care at three urban clinics in the United States. The intervention group received seven structured interventions plus weekly contact to address medical and social needs. Primary outcomes included time-to-first 4-month gap in HIV care and viral suppression up to 12 months of follow-up. Intention-to-treat analysis showed no difference between groups on 4-month gap in HIV primary care, but subgroup analysis showed a suggestive effect of the peer intervention in reducing gaps in care among stably housed subjects. Fully compliant subjects in the peer intervention experienced significantly fewer 4-month gaps in HIV primary care (p < 0.0001). Those in the peer group who had more clinical face-to-face encounters in the first 3 months were also significantly more likely to have better retention in care (p = 0.04). There were no significant differences between any study subgroups in viral suppression at 12 months. Peer interventions may improve retention in primary care among subgroups of people living with HIV from racial/ethnic minority communities, although such improved retention may not increase viral load suppression. Attending and completing structured educational sessions along with early, intensive contact with peers could improve retention in HIV primary care for patients. Future peer programs should consider training on housing referral systems to help increase retention for patients who are not stably housed. registration number: NCT01616940.

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