Reports From HIV Planning Bodies: SFAN And HIVPC

This article discusses two meetings. First, it reports on the meeting of the HIV Planning Council (HIV-PC). Second, it reports on the meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). At that meeting Kim Saiswick discussed the Florida Patient Care and Prevention Group (PCPG) meeting.

The Broward HIV Planning Council (HIVPC) oversees the Ryan White Care (RWC) Program of Broward (RWC-Broward). The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) advises the RWC program of the Florida Department of Health in Broward (RWC-FL DOH Broward). The PCPG advises the Ryan White Care program throughout the state of Florida.

The HIV Planning Council, Nov. 29, 2018

The HIVPC elected Claudette Grant of Broward House as its Vice-Chair.

Recently, two HIVPC members resigned. As those former members are living with HIV, the HIVPC now needs to recruit more people living with HIV. In January of 2019, the Council will launch a major recruitment drive. Members of the Council will go to provider agencies to recruit new members who are living with HIV. Réquel Lopes, chair of the HIVPC, said, “Instead of people coming to us, we are going to them.”

Josh Rodriguez, RWC-FL DOH Broward, reported that 290 people have enrolled in the 90-day prescription program. 

South Florida AIDS Network, Dec. 7, 2018

Wismy Cius, RWC-FL DOH Broward, announced that RWC clients without insurance can now receive antiretrovirals and other HIV medications through the mail.

Neil Walker reported that the peer training program has begun. This program trains people to become peer counselors about HIV. Currently 75 percent of these peer trainees are African-American. Another 17 percent are Latino, and 8 percent are White.

Kim Saiswick reported on the Patient Care and Prevention Group (PCPPG) meeting in Tampa. That meeting took place from Nov. 7 through Nov. 9. Florida will be conducting a Needs Assessment Survey in June/July of 2019. Out 67 counties in Florida, 41 are now providing PrEP services. Florida now has more than 430 HIV testing centers.

According to Saiswick, the Florida Department of Health will include “Undetectable = Untransmissible” (U=U) language for sexual transmission in its campaigns. The state Department of Health will incorporate U=U language about sexual risk. That language would say the following. “People with HIV who take HIV medication as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partner.”

Two recent cases question whether an undetectable viral load can prevent HIV transmission through breast feeding. That mode of transmission involves a larger exchange of fluids than does sexual activity. The greater volume of breast milk would mean more viral particles would be present in breast milk, even if the viral load was undetectable. As these two cases only occurred last summer, much more needs to be understood about HIV transmission through breastfeeding while undetectable. These two cases, however, have no impact on the risk for transmission during anal or vaginal sex while undetectable.

Next SFAN Meeting: Friday, January 4, at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56thSt., Fort Lauderdale. SFAN welcomes newcomers.

Next HIVPC meeting: Thursday January 24, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at Broward Government Center, Room GC430, 115 S. Andrews Ave.

Announcements

Where to Access PrEP (Florida) 

https://pleaseprepme.org/florida

Where to Access PrEP (throughout the US) 

https://preplocator.org/

https://pleaseprepme.org/

Announcements

Jan. 14, 2019 - TransSOCIAL will start a new TransConnect peer support group at Midland Medical Center, 1421 E Oakland Park Blvd, #101, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 26 and 27, 2019 - Trans Art 2019, an art show by and for the transgender community will occur at the Villain Theater, 5865 NE 2nd Ave, Miami.

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