BOSTON — Jonathan Colasanti, MD, MSPH, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and associate medical director of the Grady Health Center Infectious Disease Program, reviews a study on the effectiveness of a rapid entry program that removes certain administrative barriers to accelerate access to HIV care.
Colasanti and colleagues implemented the rapid entry program (REP) in a large Ryan White-funded clinic in Atlanta that largely serves vulnerable populations. Patients enrolled in the REP were able to receive care regardless of paperwork status and CD4 cell count knowledge.
After the program was implemented, Colasanti reported that the time to viral suppression decreased from more than 60 days among patients who received standard care to about 41 days among those enrolled in the REP. However, the overall proportion of patients in the clinic with virologic suppression did not significantly change, according to Colasanti.
“Our hypothesis as to why this didn’t happen was because by removing all of those barriers to entry into our clinic where patients were previously turned away, we had a lot more patients in our denominator who had a lot of social barriers to care that may be unmeasurable,” he said. “Going forward, it is going to be very important to determine which populations will benefit the most from rapid entry into care and to make sure that we continue to build up our programs to retain patients in care.”
He added that it will be particularly important to develop REPs in the South, where the majority of new HIV infections in the United States occur.
Colasanti J, et al. Abstract 1109. Presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; March 4-7, 2018; Boston.
Disclosure: Colasanti reports no relevant financial disclosures.