(As published in the Danville Register & Bee, May 9, 2011)
HealthHIV received a three-year, $2.97 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to serve as the AIDS Education and Training Center’s National Center for HIV Care in Minority Communities. PATHS was chosen to take part in the “2011 HIV in Primary Care Learning Community” program.
The program supports President Barack Obama’s national HIV/AIDS strategy to expand HIV screening, care and treatment in minority communities and to build the HIV primary care work force, address health disparities and improve HIV health outcomes.
Center leaders will go to Washington in early June for orientation and to share their specific needs.
Additionally, collaborating with HealthHIV expands care for local HIV patients, she said.
Since 2006, PATHS has offered HIV care through Ryan White Part B Services, but Napier would like more emphasis on screening and prevention as she and another employee are certified to do HIV testing with rapid results.
Yet, early detection is critical, Napier said.
The program would help PATHS and other centers train primary care physicians in HIV care so patients have access to holistic care at “medical homes,” much like how PATHS manages chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.
Patients would still continue to see specialists, but integrating HIV care into primary care would remove obstacles, especially as rural areas may not have the infrastructure that cities do, Maldonado said.
This also helps in care coordination, as those testing positive for HIV can then get treatment, care and drug assistance within an organization, he said.
For more information, visit www.NCHCMC.org.
Local HIV statistics
Source: Virginia Department of Health