Lost-to-care and engaged-in-care HIV patients in Leningrad Oblast, Russian Federation: Barriers and facilitators to medical visit retention

Anna Pecoraro, Matthew J. Mimiaga, Conall O'Cleirigh, Steven A. Safren, Elena Blokhina, Elena Verbitskaya, Evgeny Krupitsky, Sergii Dvoriak, George Woody

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Sixty-nine percent of the 1.5 million Eastern Europeans and Central Asians with HIV live in the Russian Federation. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is effective but cannot help those who leave treatment. Focus groups with patients who dropped out of ART for ≥12 months (lost-to-care, LTCs, n = 21) or continued for ≥12 months (engaged-in-care; EICs; n = 24) were conducted in St. Petersburg. Structural barriers included stigma/discrimination and problems with providers and accessing treatment. Individual barriers included employment and caring for dependents, inaccurate beliefs about ART (LTC only), side-effects, substance use (LTCs, present; EICs, past), and depression. Desire to live, social support, and spirituality were facilitators for both; EICs also identified positive thinking and experiences with ART and healthcare/ professionals. Interventions to facilitate retention and adherence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1257
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 3 2014



  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Russian Federation
  • attrition
  • positive psychology
  • retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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