Recommendations to address services gaps, build capacity of HIV service organizations in areas of unmet need
In 2016 the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) engaged the Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice (CAHPP) to conduct an assessment of care and treatment service needs among people living with HIV in the Boston area. CAHPP staff developed and conducted a survey of people living with HIV, a survey of HIV primary care providers, and several focus groups and key informant interviews to identify the barriers that prevent people living with HIV in the region from receiving needed services, engaging in care, or adhering to medication regiments.
A total of 226 surveys from consumers (both in and out of care) and 17 surveys from care providers were collected. The study found the top needed services overall included mental health and counseling, dental care, help connecting to the health care system, assistance paying for medications, and peer support. A final report to the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Eligibile Metropolitan Area Ryan White Planning Council presented several recommendations to promote best practices and models of care that could address barriers to linkage and retention in care, leading to improved health and well-being for people living with HIV in the greater Boston area.