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Assessing HIV/AIDS Client Factors Associated with Detectable Viral Loads


Highlights

  • The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides a comprehensive system of care, but has found many clients are not achieving viral suppression
  • Abt is analyzing the interaction of viral resistance, comorbidities and the social determinants of health of program clients to learn about their interaction
  • When complete, the study will identify practices to improve outcomes, especially for those who have struggled most
The Challenge

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides services to support a comprehensive system of care for people living with HIV and AIDS. It targets populations disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS, a goal set by the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

However, despite improvements in testing, linkage, and retention, a significant number of Ryan White clients are not achieving viral suppression – notably, young people and adults with unstable housing situations, people living in poverty, and those who lack health care insurance. Understanding the barriers and unmet needs of these most vulnerable populations of people is necessary to strengthen the effectiveness and reach of the program.

The Approach

Abt Associates is providing HRSA a sophisticated analysis of the interaction of viral resistance, comorbidities and social determinants of health of Ryan White clients.

The Abt team, drawing from a sample of 25 RWHAP provider sites, is conducting staff interviews, performing client chart abstractions, administering a validated trauma scale with clients, and facilitating client focus groups. Our quantitative and qualitative data will be analyzed together with national RWHAP client demographics, service utilization, and HIV outcomes data, in combination with a survey of about 500 RWHAP providers.

The Results

When complete, the study will provide HRSA with a comprehensive understanding of the complex factors that influence an individual’s ability to achieve viral suppression. It will identify evidence-informed promising practices to improve outcomes, particularly for those who have struggled most with retention in care and viral suppression.

Regions
North America