Can We Provide Tailored Care for Homeless HIV Patients?

A discussion as to why people with unstable housing living with HIV may not prefer telehealth versus consistent in-person care.

Preferred HIV treatment among patient populations is diversified; among housing-compromised persons, even more factors come into play.

As described in a new study presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) 2021 Conference on HIV Science last week, homeless or people with unstable housing living with HIV provided varied feedback on care models preference, physician continuity needs, telehealth resourcing, and incentive-based care.

The findings, presented by Elizabeth Imbert, MD, MPH, associate professor at UCSF and clinical lead of the trial’s POP-UP Program at Ward 86 in San Francisco, suggest the need for more focused care toward the homeless HIV population.

In the second segment of an interview with Contagion during IAS 2021, Imbert explained the observed populations’ HIV care preference particularities, such as that with Telehealth.

“I think one of the take-home messages from this is that folks who are homeless or unstably housed with HIV, during COVID-19, did not prefer telehealth, even when we said, ‘Someone can come to you,’” Imbert said. “To me, as a provider, that says we should keep our doors open, because these folks are vulnerable.”

Imbert also discussed the need for personable, tailored care from consistent caregivers dedicated to this HIV population.