Strategies to improve HIV care outcomes for people with HIV who are out of care


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of five intervention strategies: patient navigation, appointment help/alerts, psychosocial support, transportation/appointment accompaniment, and data-to-care on HIV care outcomes among persons with HIV (PWH) who are out of care (OOC).

Design: A systematic review with meta-analysis.

Methods: We searched CDC’s Prevention Research Synthesis (PRS) Project’s cumulative HIV database to identify intervention studies conducted in the U.S., published between 2000 and 2020 that included comparisons between groups or prepost, and reported at least one relevant outcome (i.e. re-engagement or retention in HIV care, and viral suppression). Effect sizes were meta-analyzed using random-effect models to assess intervention effectiveness.

Results: Thirty-nine studies reporting on 42 unique interventions met the inclusion criteria. Overall, intervention strategies are effective in improving re-engagement in care [odds ratio (OR) = 1.79;95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.36–2.36, k = 14], retention in care (OR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.64–2.64, k = 22), and viral suppression (OR = 2.50;95% CI: 1.87–3.34, k = 27). Patient navigation, appointment help/alerts, psychosocial support, and transportation/appointment accompaniment improved all three HIV care outcomes. Data-to-care improved re-engagement and retention but had insufficient evidence for viral suppression.

Conclusion: Several strategies are effective for improving HIV care outcomes among PWH who are OOC. More work is still needed for consistent definitions of OOC and HIV care outcomes, better reporting of intervention and cost data, and identifying how best to implement and scale-up effective strategies to engage and retain OOC PWH in care and reach the ending the HIV epidemic goals.


Higa DH, Crepaz N, Mullins MM, Adegbite-Johnson A, Gunn JKL, Denard C, Mizuno Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Linkage/engagement in care
    • Retention in care


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