SCF Applies Relationship-based Treatment for Customer-owners Affected by HIV

Primary care providers are prepared to assist customer-owners in their journey to wellness.

What is HIV? HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV weakens an individual’s immune system by breaking down cells that help fight disease and infection. It is a serious virus; the good news is, with proper medical treatment, HIV can be contained. Antiretroviral therapy is a part of the treatment, which reduces the virus in the body and body’s fluids. Antiretroviral therapy also helps reduce the chance of passing HIV on to others.

Southcentral Foundation implements a relationship-based treatment approach for those affected by HIV. Integrated care teams work closely with the customer-owner, an HIV case manager, and a behavioral health consultant on care coordination. By providing both physical and behavioral support, SCF’s approach to care reinforces the strengths of each customer-owner while addressing their identified needs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. Compared to national statistics, Alaska is doing well. There are currently 691 people living with HIV in Alaska. At SCF 99% of customer-owners diagnosed with HIV are engaged in care, 98% of those are prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 87% are virally suppressed. According to data collected from the CDC, 85% engaged in care, 62% were prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 49% are virally suppressed on a national level.

To meet the needs of customer-owners seeking and receiving treatment, the HIV case manager at SCF works with outside organizations, such as the Alaska Department of Epidemiology, nonprofit HIV organizations, local homeless shelters, and the Alaska Department of Corrections. They also actively engage in communication with customer-owners about treatment plans and medications, and track treatment electronically to ensure consistent care. State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services HIV/STD Program disease intervention specialists assist in helping SCF’s HIV case manager contact customer-owners who are lost to care or newly diagnosed.

Early detection and treatment helps prevent permanent damage to the immune system, increases life span expectancy to near normal, and prevents new infections by controlling viral load with antiretroviral therapy. Protect yourself and your partner or partners.

For more information about what HIV treatment might be right for you or to get tested contact your primary care provider.

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