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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Jun;21(6):418-25.

Psychological and behavioral correlates of entering care for HIV infection: the Antiretroviral Treatment Access Study (ARTAS).

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.


The present study sought to examine psychological and behavioral variables as predictors of attending an HIV medical care provider among person's recently diagnosed with HIV. The study, carried out between 2001 and 2003, was a two-arm randomized intervention trial with participants recruited from public HIV testing centers, sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics, hospitals, and community-based organizations in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and Los Angeles, California. Eighty-six percent of those enrolled (273) had complete baseline and 12-month follow-up data. Measures of number of months since HIV diagnosis, readiness to enter care (based on stages of change), barriers and facilitators to entering care, drug use, and intervention arm (case managed versus simple referral) were examined as predictors of attending an HIV care provider, defined as being in care at least once in each of two consecutive 6-month follow-up periods. In logistic regression, seeing a care provider was significantly more likely among participants diagnosed with HIV within 6 months of enrollment (odds ratio [OR] = 2.52, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25, 5.06), those in the preparation versus precontemplation stages at baseline (OR = 2.87, 95% CI, 1.21, 6.81), those who reported at baseline that someone (friend, family member, social worker, other) was helping them get into care (OR = 2.13, 95% CI, 1.02, 4.44), and those who received a case manager intervention (OR = 2.16, 95% CI, 1.23, 3.78). The findings indicate a need to reach HIV-positive person's soon after diagnosis and assist them in getting into medical care. Knowing a person's stages of readiness to enter care and their support networks can help case managers formulate optimal client plans.

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