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Update on the Latest HIV/AIDS Treatment – Ryan White Wellness Center

Roper St. Francis’ Ryan White Wellness Center is a leader in the fight against HIV/Aids. This blog provides an update on our latest treatments for HIV/AIDS.
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Though HIV is rarely headline news anymore, it is still very much a public health concern, especially in the South. Many consider there to be an invisible HIV epidemic in our region, and particularly in South Carolina, which ranks 13th in the nation for prevalence of AIDS cases. Columbia and Charleston both rank in the top 20 for high rates in metropolitan areas nationally. And perhaps most startling, one in five HIV positive (HIV+) people in South Carolina are unaware of their status. That’s right – one in five.

As with any disease, the earlier treatment is begun, the better the outcome, and with HIV, the better the quality of life for the person living with HIV. When adults don’t know their HIV status, they tend to seek care later when they are sicker. HIV is not fatal – there is hope in treatment, and the Roper St. Francis Ryan White program extends this hope by improving access to care.

The Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center is a federally-funded program that provides high quality comprehensive medical care, medical case management and a list of supportive services for adults living with HIV/AIDS in the Tri-county area – all at no cost to the patient. The program has been recognized locally and nationally for providing quality care and innovative programs.

The program serves a diverse population with unique healthcare needs. Nearly 70% of the program’s patients are African American, a community that continues to experience a disproportionate burden of HIV in the South. Many of the Center’s patients have limited access to public transportation, proximate medical providers and other supportive services making living with HIV and other chronic diseases even more burdensome.
Ryan White Wellness Center

To help improve access to care and retention in high quality medical care, the Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center provides a number of coordinated services, including:

  • Peer support and navigation
  • Clinical case management
  • Mental health counseling
  • Housing assistance
  • Insurance coverage assistance
  • Other complimentary services, all part of a convenient, one-stop shop

We are proud to report that more than 95% of our HIV+ patients remain in care, and 87% are virally suppressed. As of 2016, fewer than 9% of Ryan White Wellness Center patients are uninsured.

The HIV world also has a new, groundbreaking prevention tool putting us closer than ever to a cure. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of anti-HIV medication to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP has been shown to be safe and 92-99% effective. Much like a birth control pill, a single pill is taken once daily to prevent HIV. The Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center is one of the few medical centers in the Lowcountry to offer PrEP services regardless of insurance status.

The Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center has been invited to other states and conferences across the country to share its success. However, there is still so much work to be done. Your voice and advocacy on behalf of people with HIV will go a long way to ensure continued programs, services and treatments for those who have often been stigmatized and underserved.

For more information on how to support these efforts with time or resources, please contact the Roper
Roper St. Francis Ryan White Wellness Center at (843) 402-3093 or on Facebook.

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  • NNBeebow
    June 15, 2017 at 6:08 am

    June 27, 2016. HIV testing is the only way to know for sure if someone has HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight people in the United States infected with HIV don’t know it. Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.
    Among all gay and bisexual men, black/African American gay and bisexual men bear a disproportionate burden of HIV. From 2008 to 2010, HIV infections among young black/African American gay and bisexual men increased 20%.
    Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) a represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all gay and bisexual men. At the end of 2011, an estimated 500,022 (57%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States were gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs.
    More info and check from here

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