OAKLAND, CA (February 6, 2014) – Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant funded by the HIV FOCUS program of Gilead Sciences to expand HIV testing in adolescents. “HIV FOCUS” stands for HIV at the “Frontlines of Communities in the U.S.” HIV testing will be made available to all patients ages 13 and older who come to any of the main sites where patients are seen at Children’s Oakland, regardless of the purpose of their clinic or emergency department visit. The sites will include Primary Care, Adolescent Medicine, Castlemont and McClymond’s High School’s school-based clinics, the main hospital Emergency Department, Juvenile Justice Center’s medical clinic, and the Inpatient services.
The grant will allow Children’s Oakland to hire a program coordinator, who will work under the direction of Dr. Ann Petru, Director of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program in the Department of Infectious Diseases. Each site has an HIV testing champion, who will oversee the expanded testing at their site and a team of pediatric residents who are enthusiastic about improving patient care for adolescents.
Nearly one-in-five, HIV-positive Americans – approximately 208,000 people – do not know that they are infected. It is estimated that these individuals are responsible for up to two-thirds of sexually transmitted HIV infections, because they do not know that they are putting others at risk.
The HIV FOCUS program was launched in 2010 to develop replicable model programs that embody best practices in HIV screening and linkage to care. With a targeted approach involving 10 cities that are heavily affected by the disease, HIV FOCUS works in partnership with government agencies, healthcare providers, community groups and other organizations to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions that will have a long-term impact on how the HIV test is perceived and used by providers and the public. Specifically, HIV FOCUS aims to:
• Make routine HIV screening a standard of medical care by developing, integrating and promoting best practices that are sustainable and replicable
• Reduce the number of undiagnosed individuals, decrease the number of those who are diagnosed late and ensure strong linkage to care and treatment
• Expand dialogue among healthcare systems and other stakeholders on increasing HIV diagnosis and access to care
• Change public perceptions about the benefits of knowing one’s status and overcome HIV-related stigma that may prevent individuals from seeking testing and providers from offering it routinely
The 10 initial cities served by HIV FOCUS – Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC – were selected based on their HIV burden as well as an assessment of unmet need in terms of undiagnosed and untreated HIV cases. These cities are home to 45 percent of people of living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and an estimated 105,000 people who have not yet been diagnosed. The addition of our pediatric site as well as other youth and adult programs in Oakland expands the HIV FOCUS network to include 11 major cities in the U.S.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a research-based, biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops innovative medicines for life-threatening diseases.
About Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland is a premier, not-for-profit medical center for children in Northern California, and is the only hospital in the East Bay 100% devoted to pediatrics. Children’s Oakland is a national leader in many pediatric specialties including hematology/oncology, neonatology, cardiology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, and neurosurgery. The hospital is one of only two solely designated California Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in the region, and has one of largest pediatric intensive care units in Northern California. Children’s Oakland has 190 licensed beds, 201 hospital-based physicians in 31 specialties, more than 2,800 employees, and an annual operating budget of more than $350 million. Children’s is also a leading teaching hospital with an outstanding pediatric residency program and a number of unique pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs. Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital affiliated on January 1, 2014, building on the hospitals’ mutual commitment to provide outstanding care to children in local communities, and advance medical discovery and treatment for the world.
Children’s research arm, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), is internationally known for its basic and clinical research. CHORI is at the forefront of translating research into interventions for treating and preventing human diseases. CHORI has 250 members of its investigative staff, a budget of about $50 million, and is ranked among the nation’s top ten research centers for National Institutes of Health funding to children’s hospitals. For more information, go to www.childrenshospitaloakland.org and www.chori.org.
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