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Recommended Prevention Services

Services for Other Medical and Social Issues That Influence HIV Transmission

image of hands passing a folderSeveral social, structural, and medical issues can promote HIV transmission if they impede the adoption of safe behaviors, delay initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART), or impair ART adherence in persons with HIV.78, 79 These include substance use, mental illness, poverty, unstable housing, and lack of transportation to HIV medical care. Provision of specialty medical and social services such as substance use treatment, mental health services, and transportation support can help persons with HIV adopt safer behaviors, engage in HIV care, and adhere to ART.78-83

Many of the forthcoming recommendations about providing or making referrals for specialty services are consistent with recommendations from existing federal government guidance for these types of providers:

Clinicians and HIV prevention providers in non-clinical settings

  • Establish policies and procedures to provide specialty services on-site or through referrals to other agencies, such as
    • developing formal agreements with specialty providers that address consent for services, financial arrangements, and protecting confidential health information;
    • participating in provider networks that serve persons with HIV;
    • utilizing directories of specialty providers; and
    • engaging case managers or other staff to provide intensive assistance and service coordination for persons with complex needs.79,80,82,84
  • Offer or provide referrals for specialty services tailored to the person’s needs by
    • assessing social and medical needs (other than HIV care) that may impair adoption of HIV prevention strategies;
    • identifying specialty services that are suited to a person’s characteristics (e.g., age, developmental level, sexual orientation, location, financial and insurance status, and language);
    • reviewing referral details with person with HIV and addressing factors that may impair accessing the specialty service;
    • safeguarding confidentiality of personal and health information exchanged during the referral process; and
    • documenting specialty services offered, assisting person in making initial contact, and documenting if specialty services were accessed.79, 80, 82, 84, 85

Health departments and HIV planning groups

  • Maintain and disseminate directories of agencies that provide specialty services to persons with HIV. 82, 86
  • Provide technical assistance (e.g., hotlines, website) about specialty services for persons with HIV. 82, 86

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