Every year on World AIDS Day, we look at the advancements made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and ask the question: “what more can be done?”
The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) is committed to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s (NHAS) goal to “make the United States a place where new HIV infections are rare, and that when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.” We believe that patient-centeredness is vital to making that goal a reality.
But what is patient-centeredness, and why do we think so highly of it?
Put simply, it is putting the needs of the patients first. A core tenet for HIV/AIDS prevention and care providers looking to achieve patient-centeredness is access — access to HIV prevention services (testing, non-occupational pre-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). These are the most important tools we have for HIV prevention, and ensuring they are available and affordable is a shared goal of NHAS and PCDC.
So if you’re an HIV prevention service provider, take a moment on this World AIDS Day to ask yourself these questions:
- How patient-centered is your practice?
- What is your capacity for offering HIV testing?
- Do you offer expanded hours (evenings and/or weekends)?
- Can patients reach you outside of business hours for timely clinical advice?
- Can all patients, including those receiving HIV/AIDS prevention or care treatment , contact your practice and receive responses online?
All of us have a part to play in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Those of us in health care should strive to make our organizations places that respect and value all of our patients. We must remove barriers to care in whatever ways that we can to support effective prevention and treatment. At PCDC, our role is to communicate the principles of patient-centered care and assist primary care practices to systematically rethink how the practice works so that the needs of patients come first.
Join us in continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS by using patient-centeredness to expand and improve access to life-saving testing and interventions for every patient, in every community, that needs it.
Click to learn more about how PCDC is helping practices become more patient-centered.