The Particulars: Retention in ongoing care is crucial to the health of people living with HIV, but may be affected when patients relocate to seek better social or medical support. Patient migration can also affect the accuracy of information on these individuals when developing care plans and public health interventions. Few studies have analyzed migration trends among patients diagnosed with HIV.

Data Breakdown: Researchers analyzed national data on more than 1 million patients diagnosed with HIV in the United States through 2009. They found that 9.9% had migrated to another state at some point in their lives. Also, 2.5% migrated within 12 months of their HIV diagnosis. Women, Hispanics, patients living in the South at the time of their diagnosis, and those living in suburban and rural areas were most likely to migrate.

Take Home Pearls: Several groups of patients appear to be most likely to migrate to another geographic location after a diagnosis of HIV. HIV interventions should be tailored to the characteristics and needs of these patient groups.