Qualifications, Demographics, Satisfaction, and Future Capacity of the HIV Care Workforce in the United States, 2013-2014


BACKGROUND: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected population in the United States is increasing by about 30,000 annually (new infections minus deaths). With improvements in diagnosis and engagement in care, additional qualified HIV care providers may be needed.

METHODS: We surveyed a probability sample of 2,023 US HIV care providers in 2013-2014, including those at Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP)-funded facilities and in private practices. We estimated future patient care capacity by comparing counts of providers entering and planning to leave practice within 5 years, and the number of patients under their care.

RESULTS: Of surveyed providers, 1,234 responded (adjusted response rate, 64%): 63% were white, 11% black, 11% Hispanic, and 16% other race/ethnicity; 37% were satisfied/very satisfied with salary/reimbursement, and 33% were satisfied/very satisfied with administrative time. Compared with providers in private practice, more providers at RWHAP-funded facilities were HIV specialists (71% vs 43%; P < .0001) and planned to leave HIV practice within 5 years (11% vs 4%; P = .0004). An estimated 190 more full-time equivalent providers (defined as 40 HIV clinical care hours per week) entered practice in the past 5 years than are expected to leave in the next 5 years. If these rates continue, by 2019 patient care capacity will increase by 65,000, compared with an increased requirement of at least 100,000.

CONCLUSIONS: Projected workforce growth by 2019 will not accommodate the increased number of HIV-infected persons requiring care. RWHAP-funded facilities may face attrition of highly qualified providers. Dissatisfaction with salary/reimbursement and administrative burden is substantial, and black and Hispanic providers are underrepresented relative to HIV patients.

From: Weiser J, Beer L, West BT, Duke CC, Gremel GW, Skarbinski J. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 1;63(7):966-75. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw442. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

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