The Department of Health uses CDC recommendations to focus HIV prevention efforts. The CDC has developed guidance to help healthcare providers plan, implement, and evaluate HIV prevention case management. (more)
The evolution and management of HIV disease has changed over the years, as has public perception, to mirror many chronic diseases. The CDC and other experts recommend that HIV testing and screening be included as a routine test, particularly during pregnancy. Therefore, Rhode Island has revised its laws and regulations to consider HIV testing as a routine prenatal test. (more)
The Abbott 4th Generation HIV test is an antigen/antibody combo test that simultaneously detects the presence of HIV p24 antigen and antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in serum and plasma. The test detects the presence of p24 antigen as early as 7 days post-infection, at least a week earlier than the 3rd generation test, which was only able to detect HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies. For this reason, this 4th generation HIV test is ideal, especially for testing high-risk individuals and partners of known HIV infected individuals.
Project REACH offers training to healthcare providers on HIV counseling and testing. (more) The CDC has also developed guidelines with policy makers and service providers to guide the provision of HIV counseling, testing, and referral services. (more)
The Rhode Island Department of Health has developed a policy to help healthcare providers counsel patients on partner notification. This policy allows healthcare providers to inform a partner that he or she may be exposed to HIV if the patient refuses to notify him or her. The Department of Health's Partner Counseling and Referral Service (PCRS) can also contact partners on behalf of interested patients and let them know that they may have been exposed to HIV. (more)
The Rhode Island Department of Health has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve the health of persons with HIV by increasing access to HIV medical care and retaining patients in care long-term. Healthcare providers should complete the Referral Form for HIV Patients Out of Care for all HIV patients who have not been seen within the last 12 months or longer since their last appointment, or who have not had a lab test for more than 12 months since their last lab test.
Hospitals, laboratories, and licensed healthcare providers are required to report HIV and AIDS cases to the Department of Health’s Office of HIV/ AIDS & Viral Hepatitis. To report an HIV/AIDS case, use the HIV/AIDS Case Report Form.
Project REACH (Relating, Exchanging and Capacity Building for HIV Prevention) provides technical assistance, prevention training, and capacity-building assistance to HIV treatment or prevention service providers. The Project seeks to develop standards for HIV prevention jointly with community partners. Trainings are designed to meet the diverse needs of the prevention community, treatment providers, and HIV prevention managers. (more)
HIV Qualified Professional Test Counselors (QPTC) Certification
Project REACH offers courses to integrate viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and partner counseling and notification into statewide HIV testing. For information about becoming certified as a Qualified Professional Test Counselor, click here.
HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a secondary preventive method that may reduce the incidence of HIV infections. HIV PEP is divided into two types: occupational and non-occupational. Occupational PEP is available through employers for nurses, emergency medical technicians, doctors, or other professionals who may have been exposed to HIV at work. Non-occupational PEP is typically employed after sexual assault, consensual sex, or needle stick injuries to at-risk patients who are not healthcare professionals.
HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) should be delivered as part of a comprehensive package of prevention services, including HIV testing, discussing sexual health to reduce risk behavior, access to condoms, and management of other sexually transmitted infections.
The following sites provide information for agencies on bloodborne pathogens, including universal precautions and staff training standards:
The most effective means of preventing HIV infection is preventing exposure. The provision of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection after unanticipated sexual or injection-drug use exposure might be beneficial.