HIV Care Continuum

HIV Care Continuum graphic: The series of steps a person with HIV takes from initial diagnosis through their successful treatment with HIV medication. Diagnosed with HIV AIDS. Linked to Care. Engaged or retained in care. Prescribed antiretroviral therapy. Achieved viral suppression.

As we progress in our knowledge of how to effectively treat people living with HIV, the care model continuously evolves to reflect scientific and social advances in the strategy to fight the disease. After years of development, the HIV Care Continuum is being implemented by Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grant recipients across the nation as a more effective way to fight and manage the disease.

The HIV Care Continuum is a model that outlines the sequential steps or stages of HIV medical care that people living with HIV go through from initial diagnosis to achieving the goal of viral suppression (a very low level of HIV in the body). It also shows the proportion of individuals living with HIV who are engaged at each stage. By closely examining the proportion of people living with HIV engaged in each stage of the HIV Care Continuum, policymakers and service providers are able to pinpoint where gaps may exist in connecting people living with HIV to sustained, quality care, and to implement system improvements and service enhancements that better support individuals as they move from one stage in the continuum to the next.

Continuum of Care Steps

Know Your HIV Status

Connect to Care

Start HIV Treatment

Stay in Care

Keep the Virus Under Control


Date Last Reviewed:  October 2016