In this proposal we will investigate the problem of missed appointments by HIV patients. Our project will address the many barriers to successful, consistent HIV treatment. Challenges are especially difficult in a large, rural area with scarce public transportation and very limited public/charity services in the face of major cutbacks in local government services. Our project brings together a group of people with demonstrated commitment and experience in missed appointments by HIV+ patients. First we will establish a board of five to eight stakeholders that will meet monthly and oversee the project. We will produce a strategic plan that is patient-driven and dynamic. All activities will develop trust, partnerships, and co-learning through reciprocal relationships, honesty, and transparency.
Second, we will hold a patient forum conducted by a professional facilitator by week 10 in a central location with stakeholders who will be selected from these categories: HIV patients, HIV healthcare providers, AIDS service organization (ASO) representatives, researchers, and pharmaceutical company representatives. A professional facilitator will help this group prioritize the barriers to attending clinic, laboratory, and ASO appointments.
Third, the board will then meet to recommend which barriers to address and to plan a similar patient forum by week 16 to list solutions to the top barriers. Fourth, the board will meet to choose the most important proposed solution to study in the next tier to address the problem of missed appointments by HIV patients so that they maintain good health and function and thereby prevent HIV resistance and transmission.