Clients living with HIV who participated in Boulder County AIDS Project’s medical case management services were three time more likely to have an undetectable viral load than their counterparts receiving care across the country, a new evaluation shows.
The Boulder County AIDS Project completed an evaluation of its case management services in March, utilizing data from 2008 to 2013, which compared the viral loads of BCAP medical case management clients with a similar pool of HIV positive people who received medical care only, for 12 consecutive months. The local numbers show that BCAP helped 75% of clients reach or maintain an undetectable viral load, compared to 59% of people with HIV receive medical care, but not BCAP services. Nationally, only 28% of HIV positive people who are receiving care reach or maintain an undetectable viral load, according to the CDC.
An undetectable viral load means that the amount of detectable HIV per milliliter of blood cannot be measured using the testing methods available at this time. Research has shown that people with an undetectable viral load are dramatically less likely to transmit HIV to others. The path to an undetectable viral load requires continuous, uninterrupted treatment that starts with early diagnosis through HIV testing and continues throughout a person’s lifetime.
While enormous progress has been made in the development of HIV medications that reduce viral load, the BCAP study shows that healthy outcomes require more than simply taking medication. BCAP offers a wide range of support and care services that prevent some of the challenges that people living with HIV face in adhering to their medical treatment. BCAP connects clients to health insurance, provides housing assistance and financial aid, maintains two food banks that deliver vital nutritional support, and offers access to pro bono legal aid and psychotherapy as well as therapeutic services like massage and acupuncture.
If you are interested in seeing the full program evaluation report, please click here.