Exploring the Healthcare Environment and Associations with Clinical Outcomes of People Living with HIV/AIDS


Mary E. Hawk
Robert W. S. Coulter
James E. Egan
Mackey R. Friedman
Steven Meanley
Stuart Fisk
Courtney Watson
Suzanne Kinsky


Despite three decades of dramatic treatment breakthroughs in antiretroviral regimens, clinical outcomes for people living with HIV vary greatly. The HIV treatment cascade models the stages of care that people living with HIV go through toward the goal of viral suppression and demonstrates that <30% of those living with HIV/AIDS in the United States have met this goal. Although some research has focused on the ways that patient characteristics and patient–provider relationships contribute to clinical adherence and treatment success, few studies to date have examined the ways that contextual factors of care and the healthcare environment contribute to patient outcomes. Here, we present qualitative findings from a mixed-methods study to describe contextual and healthcare environment factors in a Ryan White Part C clinic that are associated with patients’ abilities to achieve viral suppression. We propose a modification of Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization, and its more recent adaptation developed by Ulett et al., to describe the ways that clinic, system, and provider factors merge to create a system of care in which more than 86% of the patient population is virally suppressed.