CAHPP works with three clinics to empower peers to support patients living with HIV

Thursday, March 10, 2016

No one understands the reality of HIV better than someone who lives with it every day. This is the concept at the heart of the MAI SPNS Peer Re-Engagement Project. The Center for Advancing Health Policy and Programs(CAHPP) partnered with three clinics to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention that employed trained peers—specially trained racial and ethnic minority community members who are living with HIV/AIDS—to lend support to people at high risk of not staying in HIV care.

The three sites — Care Resource in Miami, FL, Brooklyn Hospital PATH Center in New York, and Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS, Inc. (PR CoNCRA) in San Juan, PR — are community-based clinics in areas with a high incidence of HIV. Despite the vastly different settings, these clinics all serve a vulnerable minority patient population who often face challenges of mental health or substance use issues, domestic violence, or unstable housing.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, National Training and Technical Assistance, CAHPP trained peers to reach out to patients who were at risk or had fallen out of care. Over 12 months, the peers met with patients one on one to provide emotional and practical support as they educated and coached patients in managing their HIV care. CFHSI collected extensive data from the sites to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. These data are now being analyzed, with results anticipated for later this year. CAHPP and the three clinics also collaborated to create a set of resources for organizations who would like to develop their own peer interventions: an intervention manual, a five-day peer training curriculum, and a peer supervisor training curriculum, all available on our website in English and Spanish.