Barriers and Facilitators for Clinical Care Engagement Among HIV-Positive African American and Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men

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AIDS Patient Care and STDs





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Achieving optimal health among people living with HIV (PLWH) requires linkage to clinical care upon diagnosis, followed by ongoing engagement in HIV clinical care. A disproportionate number of black/African American and Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV do not, however, achieve ongoing care. We conducted semistructured interviews in 2014 with 84 urban black/African American and Hispanic/Latino MSM living with HIV to understand their barriers and facilitators to engagement. We classified men as care-engaged or not at the time of the interview, and conducted content analysis of the interview transcripts to identify barriers and facilitators to engagement. Respondent mean age was 42.4 years (range, 20–59). Over half (59.5%, n = 50) were black/African American. Slightly more than a third (38.1%, n = 32) reported not being continuously care-engaged since diagnosis, and 17.9% (n = 15) delayed entry, although they have subsequently entered and remained in care. Sustained engagement began with overcoming denial after diagnosis and having treatment plans, as well as having conveniently located care facilities. Engagement also was facilitated by services tailored to meet multiple patient needs, effective patient-provider communication, and providers who show empathy and respect for their patients. Respondents were less likely to be care-engaged when these factors were absent. It can be difficult for racial and ethnic minority MSM living with HIV to begin and sustain care engagement. To optimize care engagement, our findings underscore the value of (1) convenient multipurpose HIV care facilities that meet patient needs; (2) excellent provider-patient communication that reinforces respect, trust, and HIV treatment literacy; and (3) assisting PLWH to create personalized treatment plans and overcome possible challenges such as diagnosis denial.


HIV care continuum; HIV/AIDS; Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men; Black/African American men who have sex with men; Content analysis; Healthcare engagement


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health



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