Long-Acting Injectable Antiretrovirals for HIV Treatment: A Multi-Site Qualitative Study of Clinic-Level Barriers to Implementation in the United States

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



AIDS patient care and STDs








HIV treatment; clinic-level barriers; implementation science; long-acting injectable ART; qualitative


Long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy (LAI ART) has the potential to address adherence obstacles associated with daily oral ART, leading to enhanced treatment uptake, adherence, and viral suppression among people living with HIV (PLWH). Yet, its potential may be limited due to ongoing disparities in availability and accessibility. We need a better understanding of the organizational context surrounding the implementation of LAI ART, and to inform its widespread rollout, we conducted 38 in-depth interviews with medical and social service providers who offer HIV care at private and hospital-based clinics across six US cities. Our findings highlight real-world implementation barriers outside of clinical trial settings. Providers described ongoing and anticipated barriers across three stages of LAI ART implementation: (1) Patient enrollment (challenges registering patients and limited insurance coverage), (2) medication delivery (insufficient personnel and resources), and (3) leadership and management (lack of interprofessional coordination and a lack of programming guidelines). Providers described how these barriers would have a disproportionate impact on under-resourced clinics, potentially exacerbating existing disparities in LAI ART access and adherence. Our findings suggest strategies that clinic leadership, policymakers, and other stakeholders can pursue to promote rapid and equitable LAI ART implementation in clinics across the United States. Resource and staffing investments could support clinics to begin, sustain, and scale up LAI ART delivery; additionally, the establishment of guidelines and tools could facilitate wider adoption of LAI ART across clinical settings. These efforts are crucial to promote resourced, standardized, and equitable implementation of LAI ART and maximize its potential to help end the HIV epidemic.


Prevention and Community Health