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AIDS Behav. 2013 Jul;17(6):1941-62. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0435-y.

Interventions to promote linkage to and utilization of HIV medical care among HIV-diagnosed persons: a qualitative systematic review, 1996-2011.


This qualitative systematic review examined interventions that promote linkage to or utilization of HIV care among HIV-diagnosed persons in the United States. We conducted automated searches of electronic databases (i.e., MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL) and manual searches of journals, reference lists, and listservs. Fourteen studies from 19 published reports between 1996 and 2011 met our inclusion criteria. We developed a three-tier approach, based on strength of study design, to evaluate 6 findings on linkage to care and 18 findings on HIV care utilization. Our review identified similar strategies for the two outcomes, including active coordinator's role in helping with linking to or utilizing HIV care; offering information and education about HIV care; providing motivational or strengths-based counseling; accompanying clients to medical appointments and helping with appointment coordination. The interventions focused almost exclusively on individual-level factors. More research is recommended to examine interventions that address system and structural barriers.

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