Stay Connected for Your Health

Stay Connected for Your Health is an evidence-informed, clinic-wide HIV care intervention based on studies demonstrating that enhanced patient contact with staff improves retention in care.

About Stay Connected for Your Health

Stay Connected for Your Health is a clinic-wide intervention that uses posters, brochures, and brief verbal messages delivered to patients by clinic staff. Additionally, patients who are new or inconsistent in appointment attendance are offered meetings with a Retention Specialist. This intervention combines strategies from two research studies that demonstrated improvement in retention in HIV care. Stay Connected for Your Health is delivered to patients who are newly diagnosed with HIV, re-engaging in care, or at risk of falling out of care.

Intervention Goals

  • Improve retention in care and attendance of clinic visits

Intervention Essential Elements

  • Warm, positive greetings and retention messages during patient visits that are incorporated by all staff;
  • Brochures and posters displayed in the waiting room and exam rooms to reinforce the importance of staying in care;
  • Meetings between the patient and the Retention Specialist during routine visits to build rapport, address challenges to remaining in care, and assist patients in coming up with strategies to overcome challenges to retention; and
  • Referrals provided for auxiliary services such as mental health, substance use, housing, and others.

Intervention Audience

  • Clinics that provide care for patients with HIV

Stay Connected for Your Health Training

This intervention has 2 trainings:

  1. All Staff virtual instructor-led training delivered over one half-day.
  2. Retention Specialist virtual instructor-led training delivered over three half-days. Retention Specialists are also required to take 1) Stay Connected for Your Health: All Staff Virtual Instructor-led Training; 2) Fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing for HIV, Virtual Instructor-led Training; and 3) Stay Connected for Your Health: Retention Specialists Online Pre-Course.

The goals of these trainings are as follows:

All Staff Training Goals

  1. Provide information on Stay Connected for Your Health and its role in care retention;
  2. Improve the ability of all clinic staff to deliver brief, positive, welcoming messages to patients; and
  3. Equip clinical staff with skills to deliver Stay Connected for Your Health messages to people with HIV.

Retention Specialist Training Goals

  1. Describe the roles and responsibilities of the Retention Specialist in improving retention among patients in the clinic; and
  2. Equip the Retention Specialist with the skills and strategies of Motivational Interviewing to provide face-to-face personalized meetings and interim phone calls to patients to improve retention in care.

To view and register for scheduled virtual, instructor-led trainings:

  1. Access the National HIV Classroom Learning Center training calendar hosted on Cicatelli Associates, Inc.’s (CAI’s) website.
  2. Pre-register for your selected course via the link provided in the training calendar.
  3. Complete your registration on CDC TRAIN as directed when you receive an email from the National HIV Classroom Learning Center. You must join the HIV CBA Learning Group and locate the HIV CBA Training Plan in order to complete your CDC TRAIN registration for a specific training session (step-by-step instructions are available).

To access eLearning modules, including training prerequisite courses:

  1. Log-in to CDC TRAIN and access the HIV CBA Training Plan (step-by-step instructions are available).
  2. Select the module you wish to take.
  3. Launch the module or save the module for later.

To request technical assistance or that a training session be scheduled:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request delivery of a CDC-supported training or technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a training or technical assistance request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact

Implementation and Marketing Materials

The materials and resources listed below support the implementation and/or marketing of Stay Connected for Your Health by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.

  • Gardner LI, Marks G, Craw JA, Wilson TE, Drainoni M, More RD, Mugavero MJ, Rodriguez AE, Bradley-Springer LA, Holman S, Keruly JC, Sullivan M, Skolnik PR, Malitz F, Metsch LR, Raper JL, Giordano TP; Retention in Care Study Group. A low-effort, clinic-wide intervention improves attendance for HIV primary care. Clin Infect Dis 2012;55(8):1124-1134.
  • Gardner LI, Giordano TP, Marks G, Wilson TE, Craw JA, Drainoni M, Keruly JC, Rodriguez AE, Malitz F, Moore RD, Bradley-Springer LA, Holman S, Rose CE, Girde S, Sullivan M, Metsch LR, Saag M, Mugavero MJ; Retention in Care Study Group. Enhanced personal contact with HIV patients improves retention in primary care: A randomized trial in 6 U.S. HIV clinics. Clin Infect Dis 2014;59(5):725-734.