Issue Brief: Models for Improving Linkage to Care for PLWH Released from Jail or Prison

The National Center for Innovation in HIV Care recently published an issue brief/resource guide for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) funded organizations to provide care to people living with HIV (PLWH) who are leaving prisons and jails and reentering society after incarceration. It describes proven models for linkage to care programs that can help PLWH access healthcare upon release in order to stay healthy, treatment adherent, HIV virally suppressed, and reduce their changes of recidivism.

With HIV prevalence among state and federal prisons more than three times higher than the general population (1.3% compared to 0.4%),correctional facilities offer a unique opportunity to engage with people living with HIV (PLWH) and offer care. For many PLWH, this time during incarceration may be the only time they have access to HIV care. For others, due to intense stigma against HIV and homosexuality in hypermasculine corrections settings, incarceration may interrupt HIV treatment they were previously receiving in the community. It is essential that AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) work with newly released PLWH to ensure continuity of care for formerly incarcerated PLWH as they reenter society.

This issue brief summarizes effective models and best practices of linkage to care programs for PLWH who are leaving jail or prison and reentering society. It is based on project reports, training manuals, and resource guides on post-incarceration linkage to care programs, including the:

  • Health Resources and Service Administration-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HRSA-CDC) Corrections Demonstration Project;
  • HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau’s Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) program: Enhancing Linkages to HIV Primary Care & Services in Jail Settings Initiative (EnhanceLink);
  • The Bridging Group’s Project START Plus;
  • ActionAIDS’ Philadelphia Linkage Program’s Care Coach Model; and,
  • Change Team Model in Delaware Study.

Read the issue brief to learn more.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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