Disparities in Retention in Care Among Adults Living with HIV/AIDS: A Systematic Review

  • Ashley N. AndersonEmail author
  • Christine M. Higgins
  • Regine Haardörfer
  • Marcia McDonnell Holstad
  • Minh Ly T. Nguyen
  • Drenna Waldrop-Valverde
Original Paper


As national HIV prevention goals aim to increase the proportion of persons living with HIV, determining existing disparities in retention in care will allow for targeted intervention. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify existing disparities in retention in care. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 guided this systematic review. Electronic databases, including PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, Sociological Collection, PsychInfo, and Cab Direct/Global Health, were systematically searched and twenty studies were included. This review identified disparities in retention in care that have been documented by race, gender, age, HIV exposure, incarceration history, place of birth, and U.S. geographic location. Research is necessary to further identify existing disparities in retention in care and to better understand determinants of health disparities. Additionally, interventions must be tailored to meet the needs of health disparate populations and should be assessed to determine their effectiveness in reducing health disparities.


HIV Retention in care Health disparity Disparities 



Thank you to Sharon Leslie, Nursing Informationist at Emory University, for her input on the final search strategy, as well as Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker, Research Librarian at University of Colorado, for her review of the systematic review protocol’s methodology.


This study was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under the following award numbers: F31 NR017580 (Principle Investigator [PI]: Ashley N. Anderson), R01 MH092284 (PI: Drenna Waldrop-Valverde), P30 NR014134 (PI: Drenna Waldrop-Valverde), T32NR012715 (PI: Sandra Dunbar).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of NursingEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases, School of MedicineEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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