|[June 27, 2014]
Routine Screening for HIV to Increase in Alameda County
OAKLAND, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
Eight local community health organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa
counties are working to increase the number of patients who are offered
an HIV test as part of routine medical visits. These organizations have
implemented universal, opt-out HIV testing into routine medical visits
at their clinics and hospitals, aiming to test more than 50,000 people
this year and link to care those who are newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Between January and May 2014, these routine screening efforts have
identified 41 new HIV infections in Alameda County.
Participating health organizations include:
Alameda Health Consortium clinics: LifeLong Medical Care, La Clínica
de la Raza, Tri-City Health Center, and Asian Health Services
Highland Hospital Emergency Department
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Roots Community Health Alliance
HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County (HEPPAC)
In Alameda County, the HIV epidemic is expanding. And 16% of those
infected with HIV in the United States don't know that they have it.
That means that more than 800 HIV-positive individuals in Alameda County
could be unaware of their status-and could be spreading the virus to
others. An AIDSVu
map released today visulizes the epidemic at the ZIP
code-level across the county.
"I applaud the efforts of the collaboration in Alameda County to provide
routine HIV screenings," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "With the
implementation of the Affordable Care Act, thousands of individuals are
gaining access to care for the first time. With more collaborations like
the one based in Alameda County, we can begin to reach our collective
goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation."
The routine testing expansion is made possible by Gilead Sciences,
through a program known as Frontlines of Communities in the United
States (FOCUS). FOCUS is designed to develop replicable model
partnerships that embody best practices in HIV screening and linkage to
care across America. The program has 94 partnerships in 11 regions
across the United States that are heavily affected by HIV, including the
Oakland area. The partnerships aim to make routine HIV screening for
adults and adolescents a standard of medical care in order to reduce the
number of undiagnosed individuals with HIV, decrease the number of those
who are diagnosed late and ensure strong linkage to care.
Oakland's expanded HIV testing is conducted at 30 separate clinical
sites serving the broadest possible range of at-risk populations,
including high-risk women, school-aged youth and hard-hit ethnic
minority populations. FOCUS support of the eight community partnerships
will increase tests completed in the county by approximately 50,000 in
2014, and prioritize linking new HIV-positive individuals to care.
Identifying and linking new HIV-positive individuals to care has the
potential to avert hundreds of new HIV infections in the East Bay region
over the coming years.
There are more than 5,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Alameda County,
with an average of 200 new diagnoses discovered each year. African
Americans make up the majority of new HIV diagnoses, and cases among
males are 6.3 times higher than females. Of the women diagnosed, 58% are
African American and about half of the diagnoses are attributed to
heterosexual contact (Source (News - Alert): http://www.acphd.org/media/328119/hiv_epi_2013.pdf)
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