New York State (NYS) Department of Health (DOH) is one of 36 jurisdictions in the United States that receives federal funds to expand HIV testing for populations disproportionately affected by HIV. In accordance with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) this program focuses on addressing the HIV epidemic, reducing new infections, identifying individuals with HIV infection who are unaware of their status, increasing access to care, improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and promoting health equity.
Governor Cuomo supports a public health vision to End the Epidemic in New York State. In promoting his 3 point plan and charging a Task Force to develop recommendations a blueprint to end the epidemic was finalized. The Blueprint to END AIDS in New York emphasizes the need to expanded HIV Testing. The EHT initiative is a key strategy to carry out the first point of the plan to implement HIV testing to identify persons who are HIV positive and unaware of their status and link them to care. NYS' efforts to increase/implement testing in Emergency Departments is crucial to meet goals of ETE. Our charge at this point is to move forward in making HIV testing "truly routine"!
In 2014, the Expanded HIV Testing (EHT) Initiative focused on implementation or expansion of routine HIV testing in hospital settings to increase the number of persons who receive screening, especially in emergency departments, thereby increasing the number and proportion of HIV-infected persons who are aware of their infection. Early detection, linkage to and retention in care, and partner services are critical to HIV management and reducing the spread of the virus. “HIV testing saves lives.”
The NYS Cascade of HIV Care is a model to evaluate linkage to HIV medical care, retention in care and continuity of care among persons living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in NYS. The evaluation measures of the cascade are derived from the National HIV AIDS Strategy goals.
"New York State's HIV surveillance data suggest that many of those diagnosed with HIV are not accessing medical care and adhering to treatment as indicated. Of the approximately 132,000 New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV, an estimated 65% (86,000) received HIV care at some point within 2012, 56% (75,000) received continuous HIV care throughout 2012, and 51% (68,000) had a low or undetectable viral load in their blood. These statistics indicate that about half of all New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV aren't getting the benefits they need to manage their disease and keep the virus under control."
- Provide local assistance in carrying out institutional assessments of HIV testing process (lab, fiscal, and provider).
- Assist hospitals and laboratories with implementation of the Recommended HIV Diagnostic Testing Algorithm.
- Expand HIV testing through capacity building and technical assistance.
- Establish collaborative learning networks to share information and resources.
- Develop a Continuous Quality Improvement approach to implementation of HIV testing recommendations and processes.
What resources are available to Hospitals under the EHT Partnership?
- Consumer and provider educational materials
- Promotional, informational and marketing materials
- Assistance with protocols for HIV testing billing and reimbursement
- Depending on identified needs and availability of funds:
- Provision of necessary software for laboratory or electronic medical record system updates
- Testing supplies and reimbursement for costs for uninsured/underinsured
- Expert resources and access to a network of providers
- Access to local Champions for technical assistance and capacity building
Click here to access some of the available resources.
What is expected from hospitals who join the partnership?
- Routine offering of HIV testing to patients accessing hospital services, and emergency departments
- Participation in learning networks for continuous quality improvement
- Submission of Data reports on tests performed and results (requirement of funding by the CDC).