Reaching Out Of The System: HIV care where you are (ROOTS)

Project Description
Reaching out the system: HIV care where you are (ROOTS) is an innovative project to address gaps in care for people living with HIV.
Almost half of people living with HIV (PLWH) are out of care. The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) announced the 90-90-90 target, a plan to improve diagnosis, treatment, and viral suppression for those living with HIV. The goal set by UNAIDS is for 90% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, for 90% of those diagnosed with HIV to be on antiretroviral medications, and for 90% of those with HIV to have viral suppression. PLWH out of care are more likely to be victims of structural violence. Discrepancies of wealth, lack of infrastructure and transportation, absence of health services, and the stigma associated with HIV diagnosis are all identified factors that can impede HIV care. A novel HIV care model that addresses these components of structural violence that act as barriers to care is needed to reach the most marginalized PLWH and to achieve the 90-90-90 target.
This project aims to develop a novel HIV care model ROOTS Medicine (Reaching Out Of The System: HIV care where you are) to improve retention in care for PLWH affected by structural violence. The vision for this model is to provide care to any individual who experiences barriers to accessing care in the traditional hospital or clinic setting through an innovative care model. This project is in partnership with Project HEAL, an EMR-driven HIV screening and linkage to care program at UIC, and Chicago Recovery Alliance, a mobile outreach organization that focuses on harm reduction for people living with HIV and drug use.

Who is involved?
Principal Investigator:
Amber M. Hathcock, MD MPH
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine

Janet Lin, MD MPH
Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Affiliate Professor, Division Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health
Project HEAL Program Director and Principal Investigator

Sara Heinert PhD, MPH
Director of Emergency Medicine Research
Community Partner:
Chicago Recovery Alliance

Study Personnel:
Celina Garza, MPH
Project HEAL Associate Director, Research and Administration

Mary Kate Mannion, MPH
Project HEAL, Associate Director of Programming

Main Objectives:
1. To further characterize and stratify known barriers to HIV care by geographical location using spatial analysis.
2. To conduct interviews with PLWH and key community partners to identify needs and desired features necessary for a mobile medicine care model
3. To develop and pilot a mobile medicine care model for people with HIV, particularly those in underserved areas.


Amber M. Hathcock, MD MPH