Providers 'Link-Up' to Offer Better Access to HIV Care

BY BTL STAFF

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a report in January that shows improvements in HIV Prevention and Care in Michigan between 2006 and 2015.

The report, "2015 National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) Indicators - Final Michigan Assessment," is centered on the HIV Care Continuum, which shows the percentage of the population who are HIV infected and the percentage within this population who know their status, have received care and have achieved viral suppression.

Since 2006, Michigan has seen substantial improvements in several Care Continuum stages. Among the HIV-infected population, there has been an increase of those in care (from 46 percent to 67 percent), those retained in care (from 33 percent to 48 percent) and those who achieve viral suppression (from 22 percent to 55 percent).

A diverse array of programs are in place to continue to improve care and strengthen prevention efforts including high-quality laboratory reporting and surveillance assessments, linkage to care and early intervention services for those diagnosed with HIV, targeted testing for high-risk populations and programs to provide wrap-around services for people living with HIV such as transportation and medication access.

As of May 2016, 17,660 people were estimated to be living with HIV in Michigan; 57 percent of those infected were African-American and 77 percent are males. Men who have sex with Despite the improvements, more than 1,000 people in Detroit alone are still not receiving regular HIV medical care. In collaboration with the Detroit Health Department, MDHHS is working hard to assist HIVpositive individuals living in Metro Detroit, who are not currently accessing HIV/AIDS care. By way of Link-Up Detroit - a free, confidential, and voluntary program - people can access individual short-term, intensive support through referrals to existing community support programs and/or engagement with an HIV medical provider. More people will be coming into care in the coming years and these organizations are making sure they have the proper blend of clinical and support services to help them in a single one-stop space.

Link-Up Detroit can help schedule medical appointments, connect people with a doctor, organize transportation, and ensure medical costs are not a barrier. The organization can also make active referrals to existing social support services to address barriers, such as mental health, housing, transportation, medical case management, early intervention services, psycho/social support, financial distress, co-pay assistance, insurance enrollment, job training, food assistance, nutrition therapy and counseling, legal aid, adherence counseling and addiction treatment.

To connect with Link-Up Detroit, visit http://www.linkupdetroit.com. The full report can be accessed by going to http://www.michigan.gov/hivstd. Follow the "HIV Case Reporting and Data" link. For assistance seeking HIV care, call the Michigan HIV Hotline at 800-872-2437.


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