Stay Connected

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

photo of various staff members at a hospital

About Stay Connected

Stay Connected is a simple intervention that improves retention in HIV medical care. This intervention combines strategies from two research studies that demonstrated improvement in retention in HIV care. Stay Connected is delivered to patients who are newly diagnosed with HIV, re-engaging in care, or at risk of falling out of care.

Intervention Core Elements

  • Warm greetings and retention messages that are incorporated by all staff;
  • Posters displayed in the waiting room and exam rooms, and brochures used 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.

Stay Connected Training

Training for Stay Connected consists of two face-to-face training sessions; one is for all clinic staff, and the other is for the Retention Specialist. The goals of these trainings are as follows:

All Staff Training Goals

  1. Provide information on Stay Connected and its role in care retention;
  2. Improve the ability of staff to deliver brief, positive, welcoming messages to patients; and
  3. Equip clinical staff with skills to deliver Stay Connected 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 classroom trainings:

  1. Access the National HIV Classroom Learning Center training calendarexternal icon 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 TRAINexternal icon 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 classroom session (step-by-step instructionspdf iconexternal icon are available).

To request that a classroom training be scheduled:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request delivery of a CDC-supported training 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 request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact or

Implementation and Marketing Materials

Materials and resources that support the implementation of Stay Connected are coming soon.

  • 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.