CAATCH Improves Outcomes For Women & Youth With HIV
- Increasing engagement and retention of women and transitioning youth with HIV
- Develop educational materials, deliver training, and evaluate implementation
- Targeted education and consistent contact improved engagement, retention, and health outcomes
Two major challenges in efforts to suppress HIV are client engagement and retention in treatment. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) awarded Abt Associates the Consumer Access and Adherence to Care for HIV (CAATCH) contract to develop and support a curriculum of educational sessions and patient/peer navigation to improve engagement and retention of women and transitioning youth with HIV.
Abt supports the project in three ways:
- Materials Development – The Abt team collaborates with the clinic site staff and MADPH to review and update the curriculum annually.
- Training and Technical Assistance – The Abt team provides training to CAATCH staff at quarterly team meetings and conducts a monthly implementation coaching call with intervention teams to assess progress and identify needs.
- Rapid-Cycle Evaluation –The Abt team identifies and supports rapid cycle evaluation on content and components of the intervention’s implementation.
Targeted, focused education and consistent contact and communication with clients increased engagement in HIV primary care and improved health outcomes. Viral suppression rose from 78 percent in 2013 before the project to 92 percent in 2019, while retention rose from 79 percent to 89 percent. Education sessions cover the HIV viral life cycle and medications; treatment adherence and communication with providers; understanding lab values; managing stigma and disclosure; substance use and harm reduction; and HIV and wellbeing. Clients work closely with their peer/navigator dyad to address barriers to HIV care. The Health Resources and Services Administration considers the initiative a best practice.