Clínica Bienestar is a comprehensive HIV primary care clinic for Spanish-speaking Latinx with opioids use disorders (OUD). This article describes the barriers and trajectories to HIV viral suppression for Puerto Ricans with a transnational profile and dual diagnoses (HIV and OUD), and the strategies applied to increase retention in care.
Case study methodology was used to select two patient life histories that illustrate the most common pathways to success in reducing HIV viral load to undetectable and achieving OUD long-term recovery.
Results and Discussion
Patients’ major challenges included: (1) Persistent migrating while seeking substance use treatment services with limited or no support from their sending and hosting communities; (2) Intersectional stigmas; (3) Untreated trauma; (4) Language and cultural barriers. Clínica Bienestar’s service model included ten strategies to retain patients in care (e.g., Case management to identify cases with high social isolation), six emerged as central to addressing transnational challenges.