Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trailblazing to the Future to End AIDS

Brown Accepted as BAI Fellow

Mr. Lee Brown, LinQ for Life, Inc. CEO and Founder, has been selected for the Black AIDS Institute’s 2015 African American HIV University Science and Treatment College (AAHU STC). "I am extremely happy to have been accepted and the opportunities to connect to this invaluable resource to build upon." said Brown. Continuing, " I believe that aligning my self with this program will enhance building my companies approach to being on the next wave of intervention and prevention where services are wrap round focused to create a single stop medical experience." 
After subsequent interviews and being vetted by BAI program specialist, the organization stated they were convinced of Brown's commitment to personal and organizational growth as well as a demonstrated capacity to improve access to and utilization of HIV prevention services in the community. 
Brown commented, " I had learned about their curriculum and how I felt it could benefit my pursuits both educationally and professionally." He concluded, " I also believe that the networking and identifying vital resources will be beneficial to all my efforts in Arkansas." Brown will be the first Arkansan to attend this section of the institute and has garnered the support of UAMS's Office of Diversity.
Concurrent to establishing the public benefit organization, LinQ for Life in 2014, Brown also earned his Emergency Medical Sciences degree from UAMS and is both a certified EMT facilitator and VCT Trainer. The organization was an outgrowth of his concerns that more peer driven services needed to be developed and his observation to the shifting health care delivery system involving insurance navigation, patient centered care and emerging telemedicine platforms.
BAI Program Specialist, Gearld Garth stated, "we are confident that Mr. Brown will make a valuable contribution to the HIV/AIDS needs of  Arkansans through his participation in AAHU STC as well as uphold the Institute standard of excellence."

The AAHU Science and Treatment College is a four-stage program sponsored by the Black AIDS Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles Center for World Health in which Fellows learn to promote high quality care in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention by building the skills and capacity of HIV/AIDS science literacy and treatment strategies.
Do You Doctor Test or Home Test?
Some individuals may question whether it is better to buy home kits or have a doctor test them. Although doctors testing individuals have remained popular due to being able to have the doctor perform the tests and the speed at which the tests are returned, home tests are slowly gaining in popularity, especially as they are now becoming FDA accepted. However, while the home kits are gaining in popularity, only one home kit is currently accepted by the FDA, with a handful of others undergoing review by the FDA.

The Advantages of Home Testing

Home kits have many advantages. Among these advantages is that they are far cheaper than doctor administered tests. In addition, they can provide an individual with complete anonymity, which is
something that a doctor cannot provide. Individuals can send their completed test with only a control number on it, and they do not need to give their name, which will help to protect their identity. Although this also means they will need to pay for a home kit because insurance companies do not currently pay for them, it may be a good choice for individuals who do not wish for their identities to be known.

Doctor-Administered Tests

Doctor testing is different in multiple ways, however, mainly due to the variations in cost and the atmosphere you have to take the test in. Doctor administered tests, like the kind that check for viral codes, are very expensive and can make a hospital bill very high if multiple tests need to be administered. In addition, individuals have to deal with the impartial responses of doctors or nurse practitioners who have to tell individuals that they are now infected with HIV. Although many doctors try hard to be sincere, there is only so much sincerity that can be given under the circumstances these individuals face.

Receiving Adequate Support

Family support is a big factor for some individuals in using a home kit for HIV testing, as some prefer to have individuals supporting them during the testing process. However, other individuals choose a home kit because they do not want any of their friends or family members to know. For these individuals, the last thing they want is for their families to be informed of their situation or to be in a situation where they will need to share the results. Despite this, family can play a strong support for an individual, especially if he or she just found they are HIV positive. Although at times family can make a situation more emotional, there are also times a family can make a difference for an individual being able to handle his or her situation.

Disadvantages of Home Kits

A disadvantage of choosing a home kit for HIV testing is that a doctor not only will be unable to help individuals understand the results, but that individuals will also be unable to seek counseling as easily. Counseling can help individuals prepare for a test, gain understanding, and teach them how to cope after they have been given their results. Post-test counseling is beneficial as not only will an individual learn about living with the virus, but he or she will have support through a counselor if there is no other location that he or she can obtain support from. In addition, post-test counseling can help prevent further individuals from being infected.

Doctor Tests Boast Better Accuracy Rate

For some individuals, they prefer to have testing results that are as accurate as possible. For these individuals, they want their doctors to confirm their results as, in most instances, people will need to have their results confirmed by doctors if they receive a positive result through a home kit. However, while home tests are not always accurate, doctor-administered tests are not always accurate and must usually be confirmed with a secondary test, as with the Western Blot test. Different tests are more accurate, and it has been confirmed that doctor testing is more efficient and accurate than home kits.
The decision of which HIV test to take will eventually fall upon the individual, who must determine what he or she will want to do. If an individual prefers having his or her family around, a doctor could be a good option, but if true anonymity is preferred, a home kit is the best choice. The final decision will need to be weighed against accuracy, price, and the testing environment.
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