Radiant Health Centers is proud to announce it has been selected to receive a two-year, $1.97 million grant from the California Department of Public Health to provide rapid anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to individuals who test positive for HIV, at no cost to them.
Rapid ART, which provides treatment to HIV positive individuals within three days, prevents HIV transmissions by helping HIV-positive individuals attain an undetectable viral load. A person with an undetectable viral load has effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to other people.
Rapid ART is more impactful than traditional treatment because it reduces the HIV viral load much quicker than a traditional treatment, and as the viral load decreases so does the risk of contracting HIV. Rapid ART also helps patients achieve an undetectable viral load in a much shorter timeframe due to the much quicker treatment window.
“Research shows that approximately six new people test positive for HIV every week in Orange County, and the sooner we get them into treatment the sooner they become undetectable and can no longer transmit HIV to other people,” said Phil Yaeger, CEO & executive director, Radiant Health Centers. “By removing barriers to care, we will get people into treatment much quicker, which is a key factor to reducing the spread of HIV.”
Through the grant, Radiant Health Centers will develop a complete care navigation plan that will offer clients everything from screening to treatment and medications. Clients will be able to attend appointments in person and via telehealth appointments through any internet-connected computer or smart device. The telehealth appointments will remove barriers to access care, such as transportation and allow patients to contact providers from the convenience of their own homes.
“We have served the community for the past 34 years, and as the AIDS and HIV epidemic has evolved, so have we,” said Yaeger. “We have evolved from an organization that helped people die with dignity to an organization that is bridging the healthcare gaps that result in six new HIV transmissions every week.”
In addition to engaging and providing rapid ART on-site and via telehealth, Radiant Health Centers will conduct a variety of outreach and education activities to increase the community’s knowledge that rapid ART can result in an undetectable HIV viral load, which means that HIV cannot be transmitted.
About Radiant Health Centers
Radiant Health Centers provides the community with medical services that are compassionate and comprehensive while continuing to serve those living with and affected by HIV. Learn more at www.radianthealthcenters.org.