Shelus V, Taylor J, Greene E, Stanton J, Pack A, Tolley EE, Branson BM, El-Sadr WM, Pollydore J, Gamble T. It's all in the timing: Acceptability of a financial incentive intervention for linkage to HIV care in the HPTN 065 (TLC-Plus) study. PLoS One. 2018, 13: e0191638. PMC5796687
The HPTN 065 (TLC-Plus) study tested the feasibility and effectiveness of using financial incentives (FIs) to increase linkage to care (L2C) among individuals with newly diagnosed HIV and those out of care in the Bronx, NY and Washington, DC. Qualitative data collection with a subset of participating patients and staff focused on experiences with and attitudes about the FI intervention. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 patients and 14 site investigators. Four focus group discussions were conducted with a total of 15 staff members. The use of FIs for L2C was generally viewed favorably. Patients were grateful and benefited financially, but sites had some challenges implementing the program. Challenges included the timing and sensitive introduction of the intervention immediately after an HIV diagnosis, negative attitudes towards paying people for health behaviors, and the existence and strength of existing linkage programs. Future programs should consider optimal timing and presentation of FIs.