Location of HIV Diagnosis Impacts Linkage to Medical Care

In the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Baligh Yehia and colleagues investigate the importance of HIV diagnosis location for determining whether a person starts treatment in a timely manner. The U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy includes a goal to increase the proportion of persons linked to care within 3 months of diagnosis, which is critical to achieving HIV viral suppression. Baligh and colleagues analyze data on 1359 patients in Philadelphia newly diagnosed with HIV in 2010-2011. Diagnosis locations ranged from medical clinics and testing centers to inpatient settings and correctional facilities. Of the patients analyzed for the study, 60 percent were linked to care within three months and a further 20 percent after three months from the diagnosis. Twenty percent did not link to care. The rates varied greatly depending on diagnosis location. While 86 percent of patients diagnosed in medical clinics were linked to care, the rate was 75 percent among inpatients, 62 percent in counseling and testing centers, and just 44 percent among patients in correctional facilities.

See the LDI blog post on this study here.