The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion on Aug. 9 by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, 3rd District, and Hilda Solis, 1st District, to expand a medical program helping people living with HIV stay healthy. The program, known as Medical Care Coordination (MCC), can also reduce the transmission of HIV, according to Kuehl.
MCC was found to significantly increase the likelihood that patients living with HIV would choose to receive regular medical treatment. Among the 1,204 county residents who enrolled, the proportion of patients who opted for continued regular medical treatment increased from 52 percent to 84 percent. Nearly 60,000 people in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with HIV.
“When people living with HIV get regular medical treatment, they live longer, healthier lives and are less likely to transmit the virus,” Kuehl said. “The motion expands the program to people who have not had access to it before, benefiting not only those patients but the entire community by reducing transmission rates. The total number of patients directly affected by these services is relatively small, but the ripple effect is likely to be much more far-reaching.”
The motion directs the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to establish temporary agreements with medical clinics to provide services to a target group of 8,000 people who have not previously had access to the services. The contracts will allow HIV clinics to hire nurses and social workers to help people with HIV who need extra support in visiting their doctor and taking HIV medicine correctly. MCC is one of the first programs nationwide to use the approach.
“I am very pleased by the board’s action to expand Medical Care Coordination services, which have shown to improve patient retention in care and viral suppression among those living with HIV,” Solis said. “Many of our most underserved and vulnerable residents, including in the Latino and African-American communities, will benefit from the expansion of these vital services.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Leave a Reply