Last updated: December 2022
Author: HIV/STD/Hepatitis program, Vermont Department of Health
Routine medical care for People Living with HIV Infection (PLWH) can significantly improve their overall health outcomes. As of the 2017 Annual Report, the majority (88%) of Vermonters living with HIV disease have had a medical visit in the past 12 months. This is an indication that Vermonters with HIV are receiving and being retained in HIV treatment. Retention in medical care is one of the defined stages of the HIV Care Continuum. The Continuum dictates that once an individual has been diagnosed and linked to HIV medical care, it is important for them to remain connected or engaged (defined as at least one medical visits in a 12-month period).
Routine medical care for People Living with HIV Infection (PLWH) can significantly improve their overall health outcomes.
University of Vermont Medical Center – Comprehensive Care Clinic
AIDS Service Organizations
People Living with HIV Infection (Patients)
Engagement in care helps to ensure the HIV-positive individual is adherent to their medication regimen and that their viral load (the amount of HIV virus in their blood) is at an undetectable level. People living with HIV who take related medications as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting the virus to their HIV-negative sexual partners. It also greatly improves health outcomes for the person living with the virus.
Presently, there is no cure for HIV, therefore treatment is an on-going process. The Health Department supports systems of case management (Medical and Non-medical venue-based) that help Vermonters with HIV overcome barriers to care access. We will continue to monitor PLWHs’ medical visit frequency through performance-based accountability measures in place through grants with our HIV medical and support services partners. The Health Department is committed to maintaining at least 80% retention in medical care.
Understanding the HIV Care Continuum
Evidence of HIV Treatment and Viral Suppression in Preventing the Sexual Transmission of HIV
The Health Department will continue to invest in Out-Patient Ambulatory Medical Care funding (pays for doctor visit and lab work) to the University of Vermont Medical Center where approximately 75% of Vermonters living with HIV are receiving their care. The Health Department will also continue to invest in Medical Transportation, Medical Case Management (including treatment adherence) and Non-Medical Case Management funding to AIDS Service Organizations and UVMMC to assist individuals with getting to their medical appointments.