The Minority AIDS Initiative Retention and Re-Engagement in HIV Care Project focused on providing better access to resources, housing, and proper care for racial/ethnic minority communities where HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to grow and the need for mental health and outpatient substance abuse treatment services has increased. The project implemented and evaluated an innovative and replicable HIV service delivery model at three clinic locations (Brooklyn PATH Center in Brooklyn, NY, Care Resource in Miami, FL, and PRCONCRA in San Juan, PR) using HIV+ peers to educate, assist and provide emotional support to patients of color who were newly diagnosed with HIV, were existing patients but had not fully engaged in HIV primary care, or were at-risk for dis-engaging from HIV primary care. In addition, the three sites integrated high quality HIV primary care, outpatient substance abuse treatment, mental health services and access to stable housing to improve retention and re-engagement in care for people in racial/ethnic communities.

Project Impact

A total of 348 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) of color were enrolled in a randomized control trial evaluating the effectiveness of the peer-enhanced intervention at the three clinic locations aimed at increasing engagement and retention in HIV primary care. The longitudinal quantitative data as well as the qualitative data are currently being analyzed. Publications on the results of the trial are forthcoming.

The resources listed below can be used to help design and implement a peer program in a clinic setting to engage out-of-care or newly diagnosed people living with HIV in care and treatment. (See the PEER Center project for additional resources.)

Project Team Members

  • Serena Rajabiun
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health at University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Affiliated Faculty and Principal Investigator