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Magnus M, Jones K, Phillips G, Binson D, Hightow-Weidman LB, Richards-Clarke C, Wohl AR, Outlaw A, Giordano TP, Quamina A, Cobbs W, Fields SD, Tinsley M, Cajina A, Hidalgo J, YMSM of color Special Projects of National Significance Initiative Study Group. Characteristics associated with retention among African American and Latino adolescent HIV-positive men: results from the outreach, care, and prevention to engage HIV-seropositive young MSM of color special project of national significance initiative. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes. 2010 Apr 1; 53(4):529-36.
BACKGROUND: Surveillance points to an urgent public health need for HIV prevention, access, and retention among young men of color who have sex with men (YMSM). The purpose of this multisite study was to evaluate the association between organizational- and individual-level characteristics and retention in HIV care among HIV-positive YMSM of color. METHODS: Data were collected quarterly via face-to-face interviews and chart abstraction between June 2006 and September 2008. Participants were aged 16-24 years, enrolled at 1 of 8 participating youth-specific demonstration sites, and engaged or reengaged in HIV care within the last 30 days. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine factors associated with missing research and care visits. Stata v.9.0se was used for analysis. RESULTS: Of 224 participants, the majority were African American (72.7%), 19-22 years old (66.5%), had graduated high school or equivalent (71.8%), identified as gay or homosexual (80.8%), and disclosed having had sex with a man before HIV diagnosis (98.2%). Over the first 2(1/4) years of the study, only 11.4% of visits were missed without explanation or patient contact. Characteristics associated with retention included being < 21 years old, a history of depression, receipt of program services, and feeling respected at clinic; those associated with poorer retention included having a CD4 count < 200 at baseline and being Latino. CONCLUSIONS: Special Projects of National Significance programs were able to achieve a high level of retention over time, and individual and program characteristics were associated with retention. Latino YMSM, those not receiving services, and those not perceiving respect at the clinic were at increased risk of falling out of care. Retention is essential to providing HIV+ adolescents with treatment, including reducing antiretroviral resistance development. Innovative programs that address the needs of the YMSM of color population may result in improved retention.