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Barriers and Facilitators of HIV Care Engagement: Results of a Qualitative Study in St. Petersburg, Russia. AIDS Behav 2016 Oct;20(10):2433-2443



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84954322197   33 Citations


Russia has a large HIV epidemic, but medical care engagement is low. Eighty HIV-positive persons in St. Petersburg completed in-depth interviews to identify barriers and facilitators of medical HIV care engagement. The most commonly-reported barriers involved difficulties accessing care providers, dissatisfaction with the quality of services, and negative attitudes of provider staff. Other barriers included not having illness symptoms, life stresses, low value placed on health, internalized stigma and wanting to hide one's HIV status, fears of learning about one's true health status, and substance abuse. Care facilitators were feeling responsible for one's health and one's family, care-related support from other HIV-positive persons, and the onset of health decline and fear of death. Substance use remission facilitated care engagement, as did good communication from providers and trust in one's doctor. Interventions are needed in Russia to address HIV care infrastructural barriers and integrate HIV, substance abuse, care, and psychosocial services.

Author List

Kuznetsova AV, Meylakhs AY, Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, Yakovlev AA, Musatov VB, Amirkhanian AG


Yuri A. Amirkhanian PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeffrey A. Kelly PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anti-HIV Agents
Continuity of Patient Care
HIV Infections
Health Services Accessibility
Health Status
Interviews as Topic
Medication Adherence
Middle Aged
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Qualitative Research
Social Stigma
Social Support
Substance-Related Disorders