The Challenges of HIV Care Retention

Paul Edward Sax, MD, explains how one obstacle of HIV treatment and care is maintaining adherence.

Segment Description: Paul Edward Sax, MD, clinical director, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains how one obstacle of HIV treatment and care is maintaining adherence.

Contagion®: What are some of the obstacles that are inhibiting adherence to HIV treatment and care?

Paul Sax, MD: “The biggest block to HIV adherence and to HIV care is not so much the difficulty of taking a pill every day, not so much the fact that we don't have people who are diagnosed — because we're actually much better at diagnosing people; it's the retention of people in care. For whatever reason, there's a very substantial subset of the people with HIV who don't sustain their care with their providers long term. They fall out of care and then we lose them to follow up. And, that's really an important message for all of our HIV programs out there is that emphasizing retention and care is absolutely critical to keeping the epidemic under control.”