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2016 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment: Day Three Recap

By the numbersInnovative practices in HIV care, treatment, and prevention took center stage during day three of the 2016 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment in Washington, DC. The day kicked off with a panel plenary session that featured Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grant recipients and discussed topics including: the integration of HIV prevention, care and treatment systems and interventions and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program innovative approaches to program and service delivery.

Spotlight Shines on Innovation in HIV Care and Prevention

Harold Phillips, Director of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB) Office of Training and Capacity Development, opened the plenary session panel by summarizing HRSA/HAB priorities and highlighting examples of innovative initiatives to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV. Phillips showcased HRSA/HAB initiatives on topics, including building leadership among people living with HIV, enhancing partnerships and collaborations with federal partners, and utilizing social media to improve care and treatment for hard-to-reach populations.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of the CDC’s National Center on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, discussed CDC’s High Impact HIV Prevention efforts, putting these initiatives into the context of our nation being “at a better time in HIV prevention than we have ever been before, with fewer new HIV infections and new interventions.” He highlighted three projects, including CAPUS; YMSM and transgender persons of color; and Partnerships for Care (P4C), with the latter a collaborative effort between CDC and HRSA. Mermin outlined outcomes as well as future High Impact Prevention 2.0 plans. He concluded his presentation stating that the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals will avert tens of thousands of new cases of HIV and that “we have turned the corner on HIV, but are far from achieving success.”

Diana Jordan of the Virginia Department of Health talked about the state health department’s data system integration efforts and how they are being used to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and to direct public health action. Jordan echoed the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci message that we have many tools to end AIDS, adding that “I believe data integration is one such important tool.”

Kimberly Butler Willis, Director of the Ryan White Wellness Center at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina, described development of their peer navigation program, which was developed under a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C capacity development grant. Willis highlighted the impact of the program, both in terms of improved health outcomes and positive experiences of patients willing to open up and share crucial information with peers, like barriers to remaining on treatment as well as their increased comfort disclosing their HIV status to friends and family.

Mario Perez, Director of the Los Angeles County Division of HIV and STD Programs, wrapped up the panel by discussing two initiatives currently being implemented in Los Angeles County. The first is a fee-for-service, pay-for-performance reimbursement model under which providers can get 30 percent or higher payment rate if a set of performance measures are met. The second project is a medical care coordination model, which is an integrated approach that combines medical and psychosocial support services, delivered by a clinic-based, multidisciplinary team. Plans are to expand both to more providers across the county.

At the conclusion of the plenary session, Harold Phillips took the stage to urge attendees to continue to seek innovative practices to connect people living with HIV to care and keep them in care.

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