Using community health workers to improve clinical outcomes among people living with HIV: A randomized controlled trial

Sonjia Kenya, Jamal Jones, Kristopher Arheart, Erin Kobetz, Natasha Chida, Shelly Baer, Alexis Powell, Stephen Symes, Tai Hunte, Anne Monroe, Olveen Carrasquillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


AIDS-related mortality remains a leading cause of preventable death among African-Americans. We sought to determine if community health workers could improve clinical outcomes among vulnerable African-Americans living with HIV in Miami, Florida. We recruited 91 medically indigent persons with HIV viral loads ≥1,000 and/or a CD4 cell count ≤350. Patients were randomized to a community health worker (CHW) intervention or control group. Viral load and CD4 cell count data were abstracted from electronic medical records. At 12 months, the mean VL in the intervention group was log 0.9 copies/μL lower than the control group. The CD4 counts were not significantly different among the groups. Compared to the control group, patients randomized to CHWs experienced statistically significant improvements in HIV viral load. Larger multi-site studies of longer duration are needed to determine whether CHWs should be incorporated into standard treatment models for vulnerable populations living with HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2927-2934
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013



  • African-Americans
  • Community health workers
  • HIV disparities
  • HIV viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Social Psychology

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