USCA 2015: New Paths, New Results
Next year, we approach the two decade anniversary of the beginning of the antiretroviral-driven turnaround in HIV care. Combination therapies literally brought people back to life. Data from 2013 document that 79% of clients served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program have achieved viral suppression, a much higher success rate than those not in Ryan White care.
Standing still, however, has never been a feature of the Ryan White Program. Two new challenges in HIV care facing the program--and evolving responses--were featured in HRSA sessions in Day One at USCA 2015: keeping people in care and doing a better job at planning.
Retention in Care: Work to Do
In the U.S., only 53% of those diagnosed with HIV are in care. Ryan White does a much better job, with 81% retained in services, but there has been "no progress in four years," said Dr. Laura Cheever in her USCA Master Series talk. Cheever credited the new 2020 National HIV/AIDS Strategy for outlining the rather ambitious goal to get 90% retained in care.
Said Cheever: "We have only gotten the lower hanging fruit. We need significant new models and additional investments in integrated care and housing" to make significant changes in retention and other points along the HIV continuum of care. Joining Cheever in her Master Series talk were two of her senior staff: Harold Phillips, Director of HRSA/HAB’s Office of Domestic and International HIV Training and Capacity Development, and Antigone Dempsey, Director of the HRSA HAB Division of Policy and Data.
See USCA 2015 HRSA Presentation Slides to learn more about what the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has achieved and moving ahead
Integrated Planning: Making Better Decisions
Bringing HIV prevention and care planning together is not a new concept and has seen its share of challenges, with competing priorities and planning complexities at the state and community levels. The push is back on to fix the flaws and make it work, beginning with release of Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan Guidance, Including the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need, 2017-2021.
At USCA, people in one session were seemingly ready and even "excited about it," according to Gary Cook, Deputy Director of the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Part A program, the Division of Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Program. Added Cook: people are "encouraged about decreases in reporting burdens but concerned about how to coordinate," especially in multi-jursidction areas.