CJ-DATS 2:  HIV Services and Treatment Implementation in Corrections (HIV-STIC)

Christy A. Visher, Principal Investigator
Steven S. Martin, Co-Investigator
Daniel J. O’Connell, Co-Investigator
Sami Abdel-Salam, Project Director
Holly Swan, Graduate Research Assistant

Initiated: 2009

Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Project Summary:

Offenders are at high risk for HIV infection, yet there are important gaps in the implementation of effective HIV services for preventing, testing for, and treating HIV. This CJ-DATS 2 protocol will fill an important research gap by experimentally testing an organizational intervention strategy for more effectively implementing improvements in the HIV Services Continuum for offenders under correctional supervision. Each participating site will be focusing on improving one aspect of the continuum: HIV prevention, testing, or linkage to care for HIV-positive individuals upon discharge. CDAS is implementing this protocol with the Delaware Department of Corrections where the focus will be on the linkage to care stage of the continuum.

The study will randomize correctional facilities to two conditions: a control arm that receives basic training on the fundamentals of HIV infection, prevention, testing and treatment, and information about the HIV services continuum; and an experiment arm that will implement a process improvement approach that will guide a Local Change Team (LCT) through a structured series of steps to improve HIV services. Staff in both the control and experimental facilities will be working to improve HIV services, but the facilities in the experimental group will receive continuous and direct assistance through the Local Change Team approach, as opposed to a local institutional management approach at the control sites. Such models have been found to improve health services implementation in other settings, but have not been tested in correctional settings or with HIV services. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.