Treating Social Determinants Of Health Can Help End HIV/AIDS (Dr. Julio Montaner)

Picture this scenario: An individual living with HIV in British Columbia, “Doug” (whose name has been changed for privacy), was being “shuffled around” through care. As a result, he had grown tired and had mostly given up on treating his HIV. Sadly, he had begun telling family and friends that he wouldn't be around much longer. Can you see a solution to a situation like this?

There was an answer for Doug. An outreach worker, with the province of B.C.'s STOP® Program (Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS), knocked on his door and started to connect him to services to help support his medical adherence.

Doug needed to have a regular health care provider, and the outreach worker set him up with one. Beyond that, he needed the supports to help him stay consistent with care. He was placed in supportive housing, as well as in an integrative care program where he could develop his interests in music. Eventually, Doug (an electrician by trade who plays and builds musical instruments) became healthy, fully adherent to HIV medications and achieved an undetectable viral load.

By Dr. Julio Montaner. Read full blog post here.