A Randomized Trial to Test a Peer Mentor Intervention to Improve Outcomes in Persons Hospitalized With HIV Infection

Thomas P. Giordano*, Jeffrey Cully, K. Rivet Amico, Jessica A. Davila, Michael A. Kallen, Christine Hartman, Jackie Wear, April Buscher, Melinda Stanley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background. Few interventions have been shown to improve retention in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care, and none have targeted the hospitalized patient. Peer mentoring has not been rigorously tested. Methods. We conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial of a peer mentoring intervention. Eligible adults were hospitalized and were either newly diagnosed with HIV infection or out of care. The intervention included 2 in-person sessions with a volunteer peer mentor while hospitalized, followed by 5 phone calls in the 10 weeks after discharge. The control intervention provided didactic sessions on avoiding HIV transmission on the same schedule. The primary outcome was a composite of retention in care (completed HIV primary care visits within 30 days and between 31 and 180 days after discharge) and viral load (VL) improvement (≥1 log10 decline) 6 months after discharge. Results. We enrolled 460 participants in 3 years; 417 were in the modified intent-to-treat analysis. The median age was 42 years; 74% were male; and 67% were non-Hispanic black. Baseline characteristics did not differ between the randomized groups. Twenty-eight percent of the participants in both arms met the primary outcome (P =. 94). There were no differences in prespecified secondary outcomes, including retention in care and VL change. Post hoc analyses indicated interactions between the intervention and length of hospitalization and between the intervention and receipt of linkage services before discharge. Conclusions. Peer mentoring did not increase reengagement in outpatient HIV care among hospitalized, out-of-care persons. More intense and system-focused interventions warrant further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-686
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • adherence to care
  • patient navigation
  • peer
  • retention in care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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