CROI 2015: Financial incentives can increase patient engagement in HIV care and improve viral suppression in some care settings

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Science Speaks is covering the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle Washington this week, from February 23-26, with breaking news on HIV research findings and implications.

SEATTLE, WA – Providing financial incentives to encourage people newly identified with HIV to access care and stay in care did not significantly increase overall linkage to care and did not significantly increase viral suppression overall, findings from a study presented today showed.

Wafaa El Sadr from Columbia University presented the findings from HPTN 065, a study conducted in Washington DC and Bronx, New York to determine the feasibility of the test, link and treat strategy in high incidence communities of the United States. The study did find, however, that financial incentives did increase  continuity in Wafaa El Sadrcare by 8 percent overall. In addition, substantial increases in viral suppression were noted in hospital clinics, smaller sites and sites with lower levels of viral suppression prior to the study.

In 38 sites in Washington DC and in the Bronx, clients were randomized to either receive the standard of care or financial incentives. Positive testers received a $50 coupon that could be redeemed at a care clinic within three months and a $25 coupon for getting follow-up tests done, and a $100 coupon after the completion of a provider visit with the development of a care plan.

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