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HIV and Homeless People

Education Packet

HIV and Homeless People – This packet is a compilation of several recent fact sheets and other resources. You may wish to customize it to meet the needs or interests of particular groups, such as event participants, providers, patients, clients, or the general public. So please feel free to distribute all or part of this packet as either a printout or PDF.

Fact Sheets, Graphics, and Reports

Housing and Health ( – This fact sheet describes the health benefits of stable housing for people with HIV, the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program, and other types of federal assistance programs that may be available for people with HIV.

Housing Is Health Care (National AIDS Housing Coalition) – This fact sheet outlines the dangers of unstable housing for people with HIV, ways stable housing increases access to health care and improves health outcomes, and evidence indicating that housing assistance is HIV prevention.

Homelessness and Health: What’s the Connection? (National Health Care for the Homeless Council – NHCHC) – This fact sheet describes the interrelationships between homelessness and health. It includes information about the disproportionately high rates of HIV and other health conditions among homeless people, how homelessness creates new problems and exacerbates existing ones, and why recovery and healing are more difficult without housing.

Health and Homelessness (National Alliance to End Homelessness) – This fact sheet discusses the health challenges of homeless persons, and health conditions, including HIV/AIDS, that are much more common in this population group.  

Housing and HIV-Related Outcomes Among HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) (Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau – HRSA HAB) – This infographic summarizes information on the number of RWHAP clients who are in stable, temporary, and unstable housing, as well as disproportionately high rates of temporary and unstable housing among youth, people who inject drugs, and transgender people.

Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Unstably Housed Patients with HIV/AIDS (National Health Care for the Homeless Clinician’s Network) – This report recommends many specific steps to help healthcare providers adapt their practices to the needs of unstably housed persons.  These include: changes in the model of care and service delivery; approaches for improving patient engagement in care; diagnosis and evaluation of HIV and other conditions; and the development of a plan of care and disease management for unstably housed persons. It also addresses a range of problems and complications that should be considered when providing care and services to this population group.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention: Considerations for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness (NHCHC) – This fact sheet provides guidance on the use of PrEP in health care settings that serve homeless people. It also provides extensive background information about the intersection of HIV and homelessness, with a focus on subpopulations with disproportionate rates of infection.

Resources from the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program

HOPWA is the only Federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Under the HOPWA Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) makes grants to local communities, states, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) – This HUD fact sheet provides an overview of HOPWA, including basic information about the program’s purpose and scope, grant allocations, applicant eligibility, legal authority, and administering office.

HUD’s HOPWA website includes more detailed information on the following topics:


Other Resources on HIV and Homelessness and Related Topics

Housing (Center for HIV Law and Policy – CHLP, undated) – CHLP’s HIV Policy Resource Bank includes court decisions, sample pleadings, articles, and other materials that speak to the housing needs of the HIV community, and address remedies, such as the provisions of the Fair Housing Act, that exist to help overcome discrimination and other barriers to housing.

Housing & Employment Spotlight: Helping Clients during COVID-19 (The HIV, Housing & Employment Project, February 2021) – This document outlines strategies developed by RWHAP recipients in response to some common challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic. These include: housing, food insecurity, healthcare delivery, employment, ensuring access to safety equipment, addressing trauma, medication access, communication, and delivery of incentives.

COVID-19, HIV, and Housing Instability (AETC National Coordinating Resource Center, South Central AETC, Pacific AETC, December 2020) – At this webinar, presenters discussed the risk, incidence, and impact of COVID-19 on people with HIV, as well as linking homeless/housing insecure people with HIV to safe places to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing and HIV: HRSA and HUD Coordinate (, September 2020) – This illustrated blog item describes how HRSA HAB continues to partner with HUD’s HOPWA program to provide technical assistance to community agencies serving RWHAP clients who are unstably housed or homeless.

Housing Institute 101: Coordinating Housing Systems for People with HIV Experiencing Unstable Housing (HRSA HAB, August 2020) – This presentation from the 2020 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment provides a broad overview of unstable housing, homelessness, and their impact on health outcomes. The integration of housing resources into other systems of care is also discussed.

Effective Approaches to Engaging HIV-positive Homeless Populations (HRSA HAB, September 2018) – In this webinar, presenters shared their experiences and knowledge gained from their work as demonstration sites for HRSA/HAB Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Building a Medical Home for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-positive Homeless Populations. This initiative was a multi-site demonstration project funded between fiscal years 2012 and 2017. The program’s nine demonstration sites designed, implemented, and evaluated innovative interventions to improve the timely entry, engagement, and retention in HIV care and support services for homeless and unstably housed people living with HIV with co-occurring mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

Interventions that Work for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-Positive Homeless Populations (HRSA HAB, July 2018) – In this webinar, presenters describe two successful programs that have addressed homelessness and housing instability and behavioral health disorders, improved client engagement and retention in care, and shown improved rates of viral suppression.

Implementation Manuals: Building Medical Homes for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-Positive Homeless Populations (Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice, June 2018) – These manuals for models of care were developed under the SPNS Building a Medical Home for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-Positive Homeless Populations initiative. A multisite manual and site-specific manuals that outline their models of care are included.

Building Medical Homes for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-Positive Homeless Populations (Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice, January 2018) – This resource presents insights from care coordinator/patient navigation interventions for vulnerable populations in the SPNS Building a Medical Home for Multiply Diagnosed HIV-Positive Homeless Populations initiative.

Leveraging the Housing Service System Through Planning and Coordination (HRSA HAB, January 2018) – This webinar includes information to help RWHAP recipients understand how to leverage of the existing housing service system to better serve people with HIV who are unstably housed.

Housing Toolkit: Finding Home – Tips and Tools for Guiding People Living with HIV Toward Stable Housing (Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice, August 2017) – This Toolkit was developed to help agencies design and deliver housing services for multiply diagnosed and unstably housed individuals living with HIV. This page includes links to more than 30 downloadable resources for use by frontline staff, such as case managers, community health workers, and peers.

Housing’s Role in Ending the HIV Epidemic (HOPWA Institute, August 2017) – In 2017, the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing hosted a training Institute for HOPWA-funded grantees and project sponsors to ensure that all local HOPWA programs had a thorough understanding of the HOPWA program. This web page has embedded videos of training sessions on a range of HIV and housing topics.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Opportunities to Support Housing Services (NASTAD, June 2017) – This is a review of HRSA HAB Policy #16-02, and the impact of housing on RWHAP clients. Also included is an overview of a housing program from the Washington State Department of Health.

Housing and HIV Health Outcomes (National Center for Innovation in HIV Care, April 2017) – This webinar and training focuses on a review of research on the impact of unstable housing/lack of housing on HIV care outcomes. 

HRSA and HUD Launch Data Integration Pilot to Improve HIV Care and Housing Coordination (, January 2017) – This describes an initiative for implementing, utilizing, and evaluating integrated housing and HIV care data systems in five communities. Important goals of this system integration were to enhance patient navigation and service coordination and improve health outcomes along the HIV care continuum.

VAWA/HOPWA Demonstration Initiative (HUD Exchange, October 2015) – This web page provides resources related to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)/HOPWA Demonstration Initiative, which provides housing assistance and supportive services to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS who were homeless or in need of housing assistance due to Intimate Partner Violence.

HIV Care Continuum: The Connection between Housing and Improved Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, November 2014) – This is a review of the impact of unstable housing and homelessness on each step of the HIV care continuum and insights on improving care engagement and health outcomes at each stage.

Analysis of Integrated HIV Housing and Care Services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 2014) – This study examined models of integration and coordination of housing assistance services and HIV care. The final report describes findings from a quantitative analysis of national HIV housing assistance data, and highlights from case studies conducted at four Integrated HIV/AIDS Housing Plan projects funded by the HUD.


The contents listed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.