In recognition of the continued spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released revised guidelines for HIV testing in health care settings in 2006, calling for routine incorporation of HIV screening into general clinical care. Grants to help achieve this were awarded to 30 jurisdictions in the United States, including Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Expanded HIV Testing Initiative (PEHTI) is a collaborative initiative between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Penn State College of Medicine, while the Philadelphia Department of Health manages a separate Expanded HIV Testing Initiative within the Philadelphia County juridistiction. PEHTI is a statewide effort and is currently working with community health clinics, emergency departments, correctional facilities, outpatient settings, and residency programs to expand HIV testing.
With a focus on the key areas of the continuum of engagement in HIV prevention/care highlighted in the figure above(click on image to enlarge), the project seeks to develop/augment capacity of healthcare services in PA through providing resources, in-service training and technical assistance in support of the following primary objectives:
- expansion of routine opt-out HIV screening in clinical/healthcare settings within a broader framework for enhancement of health promotion and screening (EHPS) of related and other conditions of public health importance
- implementation of the current CDC guidelines for integration of HIV and related disease screening into routine clinical care services with a focus on communities highly impacted by HIV, particularly among African Americans and Hispanics.
Early detection, tracking of referrals, and linkage to and retention in prevention/care is critical to HIV management and reducing/stopping the spread of the virus. HIV testing saves lives.
We welcome you to browse the website for ways your facility can get involved along with other/existing PEHTI collaboration sites in this joint effort to combat HIV/AIDS. For more information or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.