This article discusses three meetings. First, it reports on the meeting of the HIV Planning Council (HIV PC). The Broward HIV Planning Council oversees the Ryan White Care (RWC) Program of Broward (RWC-Broward).
Second, it reports on the meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) advises the RWC program of the Florida Department of Health in Broward (RWC-FL DOH Broward).
Third, it reports on the Broward County HIV Prevention Planning Council (BCHP PC). The BCHP shares information about HIV prevention efforts in Broward.
The HIV Planning Council met on Feb. 28.
Leonard Jones, RWC-Broward, discussed long-term fiscal issues. At current funding levels, RWC-Broward is at capacity. Some people needing its services are not receiving them. As its funding does not increase as new clients enter the program, this will be a problem. Jones said, “We cannot continue to operate the same level of services.”
A large part of RWC-Broward’s funding is based on the number of people that test HIV-positive in the county. When someone moves to Broward after testing HIV-positive, they do not bring "their HIV funds" with them. Those funds remain where they first tested. According to Jones, Broward has more in-migrants with HIV than any other county in Florida.
SFAN met on March 7.
Mark Schweizer, DDS, discussed HIV and oral health. Schweizer works as the dental director for the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center. The STD, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), can lead to genital warts, as well as anal, cervical, and oral cancers. As skin-to-skin contact spreads HPV, condoms offer incomplete protection. French kissing and oral sex can also transmit HPV. One out of every nine men carries the HPV virus.
More people now have HPV-related oral cancers than have HPV-related cervical cancers. While people with intact immune systems can clear HPV, those with weakened immune systems cannot.
People living with HIV face particular challenges with regard to oral health. They face increased chances for dental decay, gum disease, and oral HPV.
Schweizerstressed the importance of regular dental visits and oral self-exams for people living with HIV.
The Broward County HIV Prevention Planning Council met on March 7, 2019.
The 2019 HIV prevention contracts stress bio-medical interventions. For people of unknown or HIV-negative status, bio-medical interventions include the following: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV testing. For people living with HIV, bio-medical interventions stress consistent and life-long access to antiretroviral treatment. This will allow most people living with HIV to achieve an undetectable HIV viral load. Josh Rodriguez said, “When we have a lower viral load in the community, then we have fewer new infections."
To learn how to do an oral self-exam, please visit
Phone numbers have changed for most RWC-FL DOH Broward Services. The number for ADAP is 954-213-0623. The RWC Part B Call Center number is 954-467-4705.
HEP: A vaccination available at 2421 SW 6thAve. Walk-ins are welcome.
Next SFAN Meeting: Friday, April 5, at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56thSt., Fort Lauderdale. SFAN welcomes newcomers.
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