2020 in review: Dissemination of Evidence-Informed Interventions initiative

The Dissemination of Evidence-Informed Interventions initiative created four care and treatment interventions that are replicable, cost-effective, capable of producing optimal HIV care continuum outcomes and easily adaptable to the changing health care environment. The four interventions, which have been tested across the country in 12 diverse performance sites, are:

  •       Transitional Care Coordination: From Jail Intake to Community HIV Primary Care.
  •       Peer Linkage and Re-engagement for Women of Color Living with HIV.
  •       Enhanced Patient Navigation for Women of Color Living with HIV.
  •       Integrating Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in HIV Primary Care.

 This initiative was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Special Projects of National Significance program.

AIDS United and Boston University led the initiative. AIDS United served as the Implementation technical assistance center for the project. In this role, AIDS United was responsible for selecting and funding the 12 performance sites, coordinating experts for each intervention and providing technical assistance. Boston University served as the dissemination and evaluation center.

In 2020, the final year of the project, the AIDS United team collaborated with Boston University to assess the extent to which sites continued to implement interventions after initiative funding ended. The sustainability assessment examined adaptations of intervention components and intervention funding sources. Ten of 12 sites reported to have sustained their interventions after the funding ended.

The AIDS United team also produced the training manuals for each intervention and developed six brief animated videos to support implementation of the interventions. The videos are available at the Target HIV website. AIDS United utilized the training manuals to deliver national trainings on the interventions to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program community. The training model was unique in that staff from four performance sites were engaged as mentor sites.

To build mentor sites’ staff capacity to deliver trainings, AIDS United facilitated training of trainers. This training utilized a mix of strategies, including didactic content delivery and opportunities for mentor sites to practice facilitation skills through a teach back model. After the training, mentor sites engaged in virtual coaching with AIDS United project staff, to increase their confidence in facilitation skills and readiness to lead a national training.

The emergence of COVID-19 shortly after the training forced us to cancel and rethink the first national training. The coaching sessions focused on transitioning all national trainings to a virtual platform as well as best practices to engage participants virtually. The ability to reschedule the national trainings for later in the year enabled AIDS United and the mentor sites to successfully plan for and implement trainings in a virtual environment.

In total, over 150 people were trained in the four interventions, representing 82 Ryan White program providers from 20 states. The AIDS United team and mentor sites offered time-limited coaching to training attendees. Part of these efforts included providing support to pilot a peer program, including adaptations to the intervention protocols and tools, as well as coaching on strategies to develop organization-wide buy-in for the program.