Each month HIV service providers and members of the HIV infected and affected communities meet to exchange information and gain knowledge about HIV at the monthly meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). Below are the highlights of the SFAN meeting on February 7, 2014.
A representative of Children Diagnostic and Treatment Centers reported that of all the babies born in Broward County in 2013, none were born infected with HIV.
ADAP Patient Choice Issues
At the January SFAN meeting, people reported that some local ADAP patients had been told that they could use only the CVS pharmacy to fill their ADAP prescriptions. Joey Wynn reported at this meeting that this is happening throughout Florida, threatening patient choice, a key priority in Ryan White CARE. More concretely, the question becomes whether HIV specialty pharmacies will be included in the ADAP network of pharmacies.
In order to resolve this problem, an “administrative rule change” has to occur, requiring local workshops throughout the state. The Broward workshop will occur on Feb. 26, 2014 at Holy Cross Hospital Auditorium, 4700 N Federal Highway (at 47th Street, NE), from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. According to Joey Wynn, it is important that large numbers of people attend this workshop. Joey Wynn emphasized “It’s not just about revenue; it’s about quality of life”
New Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Anne Mercer reported on the new Ryan White Care residential substance abuse detox and aftercare program. This is a seven day detox, thirty day aftercare program. After the 30 days, clients are transitioned to other Ryan White Care programs. Since November, this program has served 14 clients, five of whom had been homeless.
Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)
Mario DeSantis reported that HOPWA’s short-term rent program could run into a deficit soon and will need to be revised. HOPWA will be setting up community forums to discuss possible revisions to this program.
The Mobile Health Manager
Donna Sabatino presented information on the Mobile Health Manager, a free app for mobile devices. Jansen Pharmaceuticals developed this free app to help people adhere to their medication schedules. This app is not HIV specific and can work with thousands of non-HIV drugs as well as HIV drugs. Someone enters their medications, medication schedules, and their preferred text for a reminder message. The app will send them that reminder message when it’s time take to take their meds. You can download this app to your cell phone for free from Care4Today.com.
Needle Exchange Bill in Florida
Representatives Pafford (D Palm Beach), Richardson (D Miami-Dade), and Saunders (D-Orange), introduced a needle exchange bill (the Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Project, HB 491) in the Florida legislature. It will be entirely privately funded, but as the state now bars distributing syringes to known drug users, the state has to give its approval. The bill is now in the Health Quality Subcommittee.
SunServe has opened a program for transgender services. These services are not restricted to HIV.
Next Meeting March 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the Holy Cross Healthplex, Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women’s Center, 1000 NE 56th Street Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334. These meetings are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to atten