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AIDS Behav. 2014 Aug;18(8):1483-91. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0633-7.

Risk and protective factors for retention in HIV care.

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  • 1Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA, 30342, USA,


Retention in care for HIV is essential for effective disease management; however, factors that may confer risk or protection for adherence to regular HIV care are less well understood. This study tested whether HIV-associated cognitive impairment (CI) and low health literacy reduced adherence to routine HIV medical and phlebotomy visits and if social support and patient-provider relationship conferred a protective effect. Participants were 210 HIV-infected patients enrolled in outpatient care and followed for 28-weeks. Results showed that those attending >75 % of phlebotomy visits were more likely to be virally suppressed. Health literacy was unassociated with adherence to medical or phlebotomy visits. CI was not directly related to medical or phlebotomy visit adherence; however those with CI and greater use of social support were less likely to miss medical visits. Utilizing social support may be an effective means of managing visit adherence, especially among patients with CI.

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