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AIDS Behav. 2018 Aug;22(8):2615-2626. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2113-6.

Exploring the Correlates of Linkage to HIV Medical Care Among Persons Living with HIV Infection (PLWH) in the Deep South: Results and Lessons Learned from the Louisiana Positive Charge Initiative.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5837 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 5065, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA.
Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.
Turnaround Achievement Network, LLC, Tampa, FL, USA.
Dillard University, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Louisiana Office of Public Health, STD/HIV Program, New Orleans, LA, USA.


We explored the correlates of linkage to HIV medical care and barriers to HIV care among PLWH in Louisiana. Of the 998 participants enrolled, 85.8% were successfully linked to HIV care within 3 months. The majority of participants were male (66.2%), African American (81.6%), and had limited education (74.4%). Approximately 22% of participants were Black gay and bisexual men. The most common reported barrier to care was lack of transportation (27.1%). Multivariable analysis revealed that compared with Black gay and bisexual men, White gay and bisexual men were significantly more likely to be linked to HIV care (adjusted prevalence ratio, aPR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02-1.13). Additionally, participants reporting moderate to high levels of stigma at intake (p < 0.05) were significantly more likely to be linked to HIV care compared with those reporting low or no stigma at enrollment. Study findings highlight the continued importance of client-centered interventions and multi-sector collaborations to link PLWH to HIV medical care.


Barriers; HIV; HIV care; MSM; South; Stigma


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