How Health Departments Promote Retention in HIV Care

Julia C. Dombrowski, MD, MPH


September 19, 2012


The public health focus on HIV care engagement has intensified with the convergence of evidence that early antiretroviral therapy improves the health outcomes of persons living with HIV/AIDS[1] and reduces HIV transmission.[2] At the same time, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) modeling of optimal allocation of HIV prevention funding to city health departments suggest that interventions to improve retention in HIV care could avert a substantial number of new HIV cases, second only to HIV testing in clinical settings.[3] Accordingly, state and local health departments in the United States are playing key and increasingly important roles in improving retention in HIV care.

This review offers examples of population-based interventions to improve retention in care and considers how these efforts fit into the changing role of HIV surveillance.