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Virulence. 2012 May 1;3(3):319-24. doi: 10.4161/viru.20432. Epub 2012 May 1.

Tracking linkage to HIV care for former prisoners: a public health priority.

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Brown University/Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.


Improving testing and uptake to care among highly impacted populations is a critical element of Seek, Test, Treat and Retain strategies for reducing HIV incidence in the community. HIV disproportionately impacts prisoners. Though, incarceration provides an opportunity to diagnose and initiate therapy, treatment is frequently disrupted after release. Though model programs exist to support linkage to care on release, there is a lack of scalable metrics with which to assess adequacy of linkage to care after release. The linking data from Ryan White program Client Level Data (CLD) files reported to HRSA with corrections release data offers an attractive means of generating these metrics. Identified only by use of a confidential encrypted Unique Client Identifier (eUCI) these CLD files allow collection of key clinical indicators across the system of Ryan White funded providers. Using eUCIs generated from corrections release data sets as a linkage tool, the time to the first service at community providers along with key clinical indicators of patient status at entry into care can be determined as measures of linkage adequacy. Using this strategy, high and low performing sites can be identified and best practices can be identified to reproduce these successes in other settings.

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