The primary goal of the NC-LINK: Systems Linkage and Access to HIV Care in North Carolina, part of the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), is to increase the number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) engaged in consistent care by creating a system of linkages along the HIV Continuum of Care in North Carolina. This will be accomplished through improved coordination between HIV testing and HIV care providers; creating integrated NC HIV data sources and regional data repositories; testing and linkage within the sexual networks of high risk persons; and a new statewide nurse-led team of bridge counselors whose role is to rapidly link newly-diagnosed HIV patients into care and reengage patients who fall out of care. 

NC-LINK has the following aims:

  1. Increase viral load and CD4 count reporting across the state by linking the surveillance system (NCEDSS), care system (CAREWare) and other HIV/AIDS related databases
  2. Target testing toward the most high-risk patients and settings to decrease the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who are unaware of their HIV status
  3. Reduce the number of PLWHA who do not enter care for more than 3 months after receiving a positive HIV test via improved state bridge counseling
  4. Increase care communication and coordination within regions of HIV care and across the state
  5. Re-engage HIV patients who are out-of-care through improved regional and state bridge counseling efforts

To view the Continuum of Care infographic, please click on the image below:



Duke Principal Investigator/Evaluator: Kristen Sullivan, PhD, MSW, MBA

Research Manager: Heather Parnell, MSW

CAREWare Coordinator:  Renee Huffaker

Project Coordinator: Miriam Berger, MPH

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Communicable Disease Branch

Duke University, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Infectious Diseases Clinic

Wake Forest Baptist Health, Section on Infectious Diseases

Eastern Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine

Active dates:  Jan. 12, 2012 – Aug. 31, 2015

Funding Agency:  North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health

Funding Source:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS)

Grant H97HA2695

Funded via the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health