Dr. Cathy Reback’s research is included in the SAMHSA intervention guide, “Prevention and Treatment of HIV among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders.”
The Alexis Project is a combined Peer Health Navigation (PHN) and Contingency Management (CM) intervention that targets HIV milestones associated with advancement along the HIV Care Continuum. Although designed for racial/ethnic minority transgender women living with HIV, The Alexis Project can be adapted to work with any population of individuals that experience barriers and challenges to HIV linkage and retention in care. The PHN component of the intervention helps to: (1) identify the barriers to HIV care for each participant; (2) identify and link participants into needed auxiliary services; and, (3) increase participants’ self-efficacy in working with HIV care providers and other social service and treatment facilities. The CM component of the intervention provides an escalating CM rewards schedule for attending quarterly HIV care appointments and achieving/sustaining viral load reductions. Results demonstrated that increased attendance to PHN sessions was associated with significant achievement in HIV milestones (all p ≤ 0.01); 85% were linked to HIV care, and 83% of those who enrolled with a detectable viral load and achieved the minimum 1 log viral load reduction advanced to full viral suppression. The combined PHN and CM intervention in The Alexis Project successfully promoted advancement along the HIV Care Continuum.