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Preparing the Future

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In September 2011, through funding from Gilead Sciences’ HIV FOCUS program, the JACQUES Initiative (JI) at the Institute of Human Virology of the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine launched the Preparing the Future (PTF) program to mobilize an academic campus, its clinical programs and surrounding community to address the goals of the National HIV and AIDS Strategy (NHAS). 

Preparing the Future aims to lay the foundation for the routinization of HIV testing and linkage to care at the University of Maryland’s professional campus through an interprofessional approach and close the significant gaps in the continuum of care for HIV. Accomplishing its goals through an inter-professional approach, hands-on curriculum in all six schools on its campus, coupled with education and interventions in clinical settings that promote an integrated and normalized approach to the HIV epidemic, over 12,000 people have been tested for HIV through PTF’s academic and clinical efforts by the end of 2014PTF is an investment in Maryland’s future, developing the infrastructure for an AIDS-free generation. This work concurrently creates infrastructure to address chronic disease and other public health crises for greater impact in urban centers across the country.

The PTF Academic Program

Goal: Integrate PTF into the curriculum and community engagement of all UMB students from each discipline on campus to include medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, social work and dentistry. Integrate inter-professional learning opportunities in order to educate, empower and engage students on the multiple entry-points to achieve optimal diagnosis, care and treatment for people living with HIV.

Achievements

Over 1000 students and faculty have been trained through the PTF Educational Program within these six professional disciplines. Pre- and post-test data collected from students reveal statistically significant improvements in 20 of 29 areas of quantitative assessment (p<0.001) including: 1) knowledge about HIV to have an informed conversation with patients/clients; 2) ability to discuss HIV in a culturally competent way with patients/clients; 3) comfort talking about sensitive topics to patients/clients; 4) comfort in disclosing results of an HIV positive test to a patient/client.

The PTF Clinical Program

Goal: To routinize HIV testing at the University of Maryland Medical Center and address the goals of the National HIV and AIDS Strategy through an interdisciplinary workflow. This initiative began in the Department of Medicine in March 2013 as a provider-initiated approach and then transitioned to a hybrid approach (provider + nurse) in September 2013. The initiative has since expanded to several other areas of the hospital including the Emergency Department, Orthopedics, Psychiatry, Vascular and Emergency Surgery.

Achievements

Over 1,000 health care providers including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses have been trained to incorporate routine HIV testing and linkage to care into their practice. A formal collaboration has been established with the JACQUES Initiative for linkage to HIV care and supportive services. Together, over 600 individuals living with HIV have been encountered in two years through this initiative.

A comprehensive approach to routine HIV testing and linkage to care at the University of Maryland. (video)