In recent years, Ryan White CARE Act (RWCA)–funded health care facilities have provided important social services as well as medical treatment to people living with HIV, and have filled in gaps in care to address the needs of poor and medically disenfranchised individuals. Publishing their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed data from the 2009 and 2011 cycles of the Medical Monitoring Project, a national probability sample of 8,038 HIV-positive adults receiving care at 989 HIV clinics.

The data covers June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2012. So it precedes the expansion of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in January 2014.

A total of 34.4 percent of the clinics received RWCA funding, and 72.8 percent of the individuals in the study received care at an RWCA-funded facility.

RWCA-funded clinic clientele were more likely to be female, to be black or Hispanic, to have less than a high school education, to have an income below the poverty level, and to lack health insurance.

The clinics funded by RWCA, when compared with those that were not, were more likely to provide case management (76.1 percent vs. 15.4 percent), mental health care (64 percent vs. 18 percent), substance abuse treatment (33.6 percent vs. 12 percent), and other support services.

After controlling for various factors, the researchers found that those who received care at the RWCA-funded facilities were 9 percent more likely to be virally suppressed.

To read the study, click here.