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HIV/AIDS Linkage to Care Program

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What is Linkage to Care?

The Linkage to Care (L2C) program works to connect HIV-positive individuals to medical care. The program assists HIV-positive individuals who are newly diagnosed or who are not currently accessing HIV/AIDS care by providing them with short-term, intensive support in engaging with an HIV care provider. The support provided is customized to meet the needs of the client, but may include services such as:

  • Assistance in identifying and connecting with medical providers
  • Assistance in accessing HIV care and treatment
  • Support in connecting with social service organizations
  • Support in connecting with long-term medical case management services

The L2C program also provides risk reduction counseling, HIV/STD testing and support to high risk HIV-negative individuals. Clients living in the Anchorage urban area are eligible to receive inperson support. Patients living outside the Anchorage area are eligible for telephone-based support and referral to local support systems.

L2C Service Graphic

Successful L2C is an ongoing process during which HIV-positive individuals are able to assimilate their diagnosis, understand the implications of their HIV diagnosis of themselves and others, opt for appropriate care and services, and commit to enhancing their own health. High-risk HIVnegative individuals will be able to identify high-risk behaviors and implement risk-reduction strategies.

Who is Eligible for Linkage to Care?

Any person currently residing in Alaska who meets at least one of the criteria outlined below is eligible to receive L2C services:

  1. Newly diagnosed as HIV-positive,
  2. HIV-positive and pregnant.
  3. HIV-positive and identified as currently being out of care by a health care provider. For the purposes of the L2C program, a person is considered out of care if the provider has been unsuccessful in reaching them and they have:
    • Not received a CD4 or Viral Load test in the preceding 12 months, OR
    • Not attended an HIV care appointment with their health care provider in the preceding 12 months
  4. High-risk HIV-negative. For the purposes of the L2C program, a person is considered high-risk HIV-negative if they self-identify as engaging in high-risk behavior for contracting HIV, including:
    • Having repeated sexual encounters with a known HIV-positive individual
    • Injection drug use, including sharing needles, syringes, works, or back-loaded or front-loaded syringes with a known HIV-positive individual
    • Engaging in prostitution or transactional sex work
    • Engaging multiple sex partners through anonymous websites, including Craigslist

If a patient is HIV-positive but does not meet these criteria, they will be referred to long-term HIV/AIDS case management services through local organizations such as Alaska AIDS Assistance Association (4A's) and Interior AIDS Association (IAA).

How long does Linkage to Care Last?

Linkage to Care provides short-term assistance to people who need help in accessing HIV/AIDS medical care and treatment. Program duration will vary depending on the needs of individual clients, but in general will take one to five sessions, across no more than 90 days. If the client continues to need support beyond the 90 day period, he or she will be linked with longterm medical case management services such as Alaska AIDS Assistance Association (4A's) in Anchorage and Juneau or Interior AIDS Association (IAA) in Fairbanks.

Program duration for high-risk HIV-negative individuals will generally include one risk-reduction counseling session, with possible follow-up as requested by the client.

How to Refer Someone for Linkage to Care Services

Health care providers and other interested individuals can call the Linkage to Care Program at (907) 269-8057 for additional information on the program or to refer someone for services.

Linkage to Care Documents

Linkage to Care Contacts

The Linkage to Care program is run by the State of Alaska Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology. For additional information, please contact:

Melissa Boyette
Alaska Division of Public Health
Section of Epidemiology
HIV/STD Program
3601 C Street, Suite 540
Anchorage, AK 99503
Telephone: (907) 269-8057