Workforce re-entry for people with HIV/AIDS: Intervention effects and predictors of success

Authors: Martin, D., Chernoff, R., & Buitron, M.
Year Published 2006
Publication Work
Volume 27
Number 3
Pages 221-233
Publisher IOS Press

Treatment that prolongs the lives of people with HIV/AIDS and improves their quality of life is relatively recent. Little is known about factors that may predict their successful re-entry to the workforce. No data exist concerning the effectiveness of programs to assist people with HIV/AIDS in their efforts to return to work.


The purposes of this study were to (1) identify factors predicting workforce re-entry among a group of participants in a workforce-reentry demonstration project for people with HIV/AIDS; and (2) determine whether an intervention designed to help people with HIV/AIDS return to work was successful.


Participants were recruited from community-based service agencies in the southern region of Los Angeles County, CA. The intervention was coordinated by the Career Transition Center (CTC) in Long Beach, CA but was delivered at various local centers. The CTC offers an array of services, including resume writing, guided and self-directed job search, vocational counseling, job training and job placement.


A total of 235 participants were recruited into the workforce reentry demonstration project from local community agencies. Entry criteria included the following: (1) an HIV/AIDS
diagnosis, (2) disabled/unemployed (exceptions to this were individuals working part time under the table or volunteering), (3) receiving medical care for their HIV/AIDS conditions, (4) enrolled in an HIV/AIDS case management program, and (5) contemplating workforce re-entry. The mean age was 40, and was predominantly males who were sexually active with other males.

Data Collection

Program participants and comparison respondents completed questionnaires that included demographic questions, measures of income and income source, health indices, an interview and a questionnaire related to current and prior employment status. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables. Chi-square tests were used to compare the intervention group with the comparison group for categorical variables and a combination of t-tests and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used for continuous variables.


Fifty-one comparison respondents were recruited from the same community agencies as the intervention participants. These individuals met the same requirements as intervention participants with the exception that they were not seeking to re-enter the workforce. They were not provided with an alternative treatment.


Of the 235 enrolled participants, 172 completed at least one follow-up. Of this group, 90 were in some form of work at baseline, but 46 stopped working at some time later in the study and their time to return to work was reset to start at the time that they stopped working. Participants in the intervention condition were more likely to return to work than those in the comparison group. In addition, men, those in relatively poor health, those receiving either Social Security or state disability income and those with higher incomes at baseline were less likely to return to work.


The study provides evidence for the efficacy of return to work services for individuals with HIV/AIDS. Those who completed the intervention were more likely to return to work and to return to work more quickly. Although lengthier interventions may be needed for some individuals with HIV/AIDS seeking workforce re-entry, the ?findings suggest that even limited assistance may be useful to individuals seeking to return to work following a period of disability.

Populations Male & Female | Hispanic or Latino | Black / African American | White / Caucasian
Outcomes Employment acquisition | Return to work
Research Design Quasi-experimental
Peer Reviewed Yes