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U.S. News

San Francisco, Calif., Program Pushes Immediate HIV Treatment

December 18, 2013

This article was reported by SFGate.com (San Francisco).

SFGate reported that the San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) launched an early intervention program that connected newly diagnosed people to HIV treatment on the day of diagnosis. The program's prime target was people with acute HIV infections -- high virus levels in the blood, "but almost no immune reaction from the body." With rapid treatment, HIV drugs could reduce the virus to undetectable levels quickly, benefitting the patient and preventing the spread of HIV to the patient's sexual partners.

Dr. Hiroyu Hatano explained that city health clinics and the hospital coordinated to implement the program. When a person received an HIV diagnosis at a city clinic, health workers determined whether the infection was acute and alerted Hatano or another HIV specialist. The patient went directly to SFGH's HIV clinic, where patients received counseling, and a social worker assisted them with paperwork to pay for HIV drugs. Doctors also observed the patients taking their first dose of HIV drugs and provided enough drugs to last until the patients secured insurance coverage or federal aid.

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See Also
More HIV Treatment Policy News on California

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