Project CONNECT: E2i Toolkit

Client-oriented New Patient Navigation to Encourage Connection to Treatment (Project CONNECT) is an evidence-informed intervention that engages Black men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV into medical care through early orientation to the clinic, relationship building, and enhanced personal contact. In collaboration with HIV experts and community members, E2i adapted Project CONNECT for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) and produced a toolkit that provides the resources needed to implement Project CONNECT within RWHAP settings and other HIV care organizations.


  • To promptly link and engage people with HIV into HIV primary care 

Priority Population

  • People with HIV who are newly diagnosed, who have been out of HIV care for over 12 months, or are transferring care from another provider 
  • Project CONNECT has demonstrated effectiveness with people with HIV, including Black MSM

Core Elements

1. Early orientation (CONNECT visit) 

  • Linkage coordinators conduct an early orientation to HIV care within five business days of a new client’s first contact with the organization. The linkage coordinator begins building a trusting relationship with the client.

2. Enhanced personal contact

  • Linkage coordinators and primary care teams establish and maintain a trusting relationship with clients through personalized, supportive communication during phone, online, and face-to-face connections.  

3. Biopsychosocial assessments

  • During orientation and check-in visits, clients complete an assessment of their medical, social, and behavioral health needs. Based on the assessment, clients are referred to supportive services.


  • Project CONNECT begins as soon as a client initiates contact with the organization, and it continues until the client has achieved effective linkage to care.
  • Some organizations may continue enhanced contact until a client achieves and maintains viral suppression.


  • Project CONNECT can be implemented in any organization that provides HIV primary care or has a robust referral system to an HIV primary care clinic.

Toolkit Components

This Guide includes:

  • How to plan and implement the intervention
  • Lessons learned during implementation in RWHAP settings
  • Outcomes from the E2i initiative

Project CONNECT E2i Implementation Guide (PDF)

A Spanish version of the Implementation Guide is coming soon!

Watch an instructional dramatization of how to deliver Project CONNECT to clients.