A program designed to rate the rate of HIV-positive people who stay in routine medical care has succeeded, and at a cost deemed reasonable. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers randomized 1,229 people with HIV, who were receiving care through six academically affiliated HIV clinics, into two groups: One received enhanced personal contact from clinicians along with basic HIV education; and a second received the current standard of care.

A total of 45.7 percent (280 out of 613) of the participants in the standard-of-care group were retained in care, defined as attending at least one primary care visit every four months during a one-year period. By comparison, 55.8 percent (343 out of 615) of those in the intervention arm of the study were retained in care, meaning the intervention was associated with a 22 percent improvement in the group’s retention rate.

The intervention’s annual cost was $241,565, for an average of $393 per participant. The estimated cost to retain each additional individual in care was $3,834.

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