HIV and Primary Care Integration

According to CDC estimates, more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 7 (14.2%) are unaware of their infection (CDC, 2017). Many are members of vulnerable populations and underserved communities. Undiagnosed individuals may not receive the care and treatment they need to stay healthy. They also may unknowingly pass HIV to others. However, those who have been tested, and are aware of their infection, can make informed decisions about their overall health and risk behaviors.

As people live longer with HIV infection, they may be at risk for other illnesses or chronic diseases that can be prevented or managed in primary care settings. For example, HIV patients are at risk for cardiovascular disease, liver disease, non-AIDS related cancers, depression or other sexually transmitted infections.

Health centers emphasize coordinated and comprehensive care, and the ability to manage patients with multiple health care needs. Integration of HIV testing, prevention, care and treatment into other primary care and enabling services can increase access and improve health outcomes for patients living with HIV.

Learn about specific action steps (PDF -197 KB) health centers can take to begin, expand, or improve HIV service delivery.

Improve HIV Clinical Quality

Health centers report HIV screenings, diagnoses, and linkages to care as part of the Uniform Data System. Health centers can also select additional performance measures that may be useful for tracking and improving quality of care for patients living with HIV.

HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau provides performance measures along the HIV care continuum, including a set of core performance measures (PDF - 149 KB), that have completed the rigorous National Quality Forum infectious disease endorsement process. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States Updated to 2020 includes 10 indicators for monitoring progress on fulfilling the Strategy's vision and goals.

Resources

Health centers interested in expanding HIV-related services, or improving integration of those services into primary care, may benefit from resources developed or used by other health centers.



Fast Stats

  • In 2017, the percentage of patients tested for HIV increased by 27% from 2016 to 1.8 million patients
  • In 2017, the percentage of health center patients linked to HIV Care was 84.5% (Source: Uniform Data System (UDS), 2017)