A Los Angeles Country program succeeded in reengaging individuals lost to care or in identifying if they were receiving care elsewhere, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers studied the effects of a so-called Patient Navigator model of patient reengagement, adapted for HIV from a cancer model.

The investigators reviewed clinic databases looking for HIV patients who: had had no HIV care visits within six to 12 months and whose last viral load was greater than 200; had had no HIV care visits within a year; were newly diagnosed and had never been in care; or were recently released from incarceration or another institution and did not have a regular HIV medical provider.

Trained navigators contacted these individuals using information from clinic medical records and offered them enrollment in a reengagement intervention program.

Of 1,139 individuals identified as lost to care, 36 percent turned out to be in care elsewhere, 29 percent could not be located, 8 percent returned to the clinic on their own, 4 percent declined to be enrolled in the intervention, and 7 percent (78 people) were enrolled in the intervention.

Those 78 individuals received an average of 4.5 sessions with a navigator over 11.6 hours.

Among those reengaged in care, 68 percent did so within three months, 85 percent within six months, and 94 percent within a year. Eighty-two percent of those linked to care were still in care a year after enrolling in the study.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.