HIV Care Continuum from Testing to Undetectable Gardner Cascade for Smart People Viral Suppression Help may come from her testing counselor, doctor, an Early Intervention Specialist or a Peer Navigator. Linkage to HIV Care Linkage to HIV Care Whitney continues to meet with her HIV doctor every few months or as needed to maintain her health. Retention in HIV Care Whitney takes her medication according to her treatment regimen, as prescribed by her doctor.
After several months her viral load is What the heck is it? You might have seen a graph like this recently. It's often called the "Gardner Cascade". Each bar represents a different step along the care continuum Where a person is on the "continuum" refers to how they are engaged in HIV care and adherent to HIV treatment. Different people are at different places along the path. Care Continuum HIV Care Continuum HIV Diagnosis Whitney tests positive for HIV. So does that help? Probably not that much. Let's start at the beginning and walk our way through. Whitney will need help to take the next step of making that first HIV care appointment If no one helps Whitney make that first appointment, she might not go to the Dr at all. She may have barriers that prevent her from making it there. HIV Status Stigma Denial Fear Loneliness Lack of knowledge Substance use Poverty Abuse Competing Needs What we see What we can't see The factors below the surface have a real impact on Whitney's decisions and actions Barriers may feel like a brick wall She doesn't know what to do. Where does she go for help? Let's take a minute to think about what's happening in Whitney's head. Fear
lack of transportation
child care responsibilities
stigma Whitney makes that first appointment.
This is called Linkage to Care Whitney's testing counselor contacts a case manager at another organization to meet with Whitney the next day.
Her counselor also contacts a local HIV medical provider and arranges an appointment for later that week. If Whitney makes at least 1 doctor visit in a year she is considered "maintained" or "retained" in care. Adherence to ART Whitney's doctor and case manager will work with her to make sure she is able to take her HIV medicines at the prescribed times. Taking medications on time and regularly is called ADHERENCE. Adherence is really important to reduce viral load in HIV+ people People with viral loads so low we can't count them are said to have UNDETECTABLE viral loads. Now Whitney has reached VIRAL LOAD SUPPRESSION Like this awesome lady! People with suppressed viral loads are less likely to transmit HIV to a partner So what's so important about viral load suppression? So what about that "Gardner Cascade"? How does that fit in to all this? A goal of the National HIV Strategy is to reduce transmission of HIV.
If we have more people in care and with a reduced viral load, we will have less HIV transmissions. Right now we aren't doing great at helping people stay in care and adhere to their medications. The effort to diagnose HIV+ people, help them maintain HIV care and reach viral load suppression is called the TEST AND TREAT STRATEGY But we are working
Test and Treat is just one of our tools. Remember those barriers?
They can prevent Whitney from taking her medication too. UNDETECTABLE For more information about the
Gardner Cascade and how Philadelphia stacks up check out: http://www.slideshare.net/brianalmorgan/test-and-treat-the-gardner-cascade-in-context If you live in the Philadelphia area and would like more information about HIV testing or HIV care services call: 1-800-985-2437 This presentation was developed by hivphilly.org facebook.com/hivphilly twitter.com/hivphillySee the full transcript