Housing and HIV: HRSA and HUD Coordinate

Content From: TargetHIVPublished: August 14, 20192 min read


A woman leans against a bed in a dimly lit room.
Credit: TargetHIV

Cross-posted from TargetHIVExit Disclaimer

The HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) is highlighting data on housing instability and homelessness among Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients, and the relationship of housing status to viral load suppression. These markers are key components of the public health response to HIV in the United States. HRSA HAB continues to partner with HUD's Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program to provide technical assistance to community agencies serving these clients.

Unstable Housing Hinders HIV Health Outcomes

People with HIV are at a much higher risk of being unstably housed or homeless than the general population. In 2016, 8.8% of RWHAP clients had temporary housing and 5.2% had unstable housing situations. Moreover, RWHAP dataExit Disclaimer show that housing status is strongly associated with HIV viral load suppression rates: the more stable your living situation, the better you do in care.


The chart below shows trends in viral load suppression rates for RWHAP clients, by housing status. While percentages are steadily increasing among all clients, the gap for unstably housed and homeless clients persists. Among temporarily housed clients, viral suppression increased from 63.7% in 2010 to 79.0% in 2017. Among unstably housed clients, viral suppression increased from 54.8% in 2010 to 71.2% in 2017. (See more RWHAP dataExit Disclaimer.)

Viral Suppression, Clients Served by RWHAP, by Housing Status, 2010–2017—U.S. and 3 Territories

A graph shows lines for stable, temporary and unstable housing going up starting from about 72, 64 and 54 respectively in 2010 to 87, 79 and 71 respectively in 2017.
Credit: RWHAP Client HIV Care Outcomes: Viral Suppression, by Housing Status - 2017 [PPT, 1.6MB]

HRSA and HUD Coordinate

HRSA's RWHAP has coordinated with federal housing programs for decades, particularly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS) program. Among the more recent initiatives is a HUD technical assistance project for communities affected by funding formula methodology changes to HOPWA. Learn more about technical assistance and training for RWHAP recipients seeking to better serve clients experiencing unstable housing at the links below.

Read about Housing and Health in HIV.gov's Basics.