Following are the retention measures, where the county stood in mid-December and where we were after the first quarter:
1. Gap Measure – Percentage of patients, regardless of age, with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS who did not have a medical visit in the last 180 days of the measurement year.
2. Medical Visit Frequency - Percentage of patients, regardless of age, with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS who had at least one medical visit in each six month period of the 24-month measurement period with a minimum of 60 days between medical visits.
3. Patients Newly Enrolled in Medical Care - Percentage of patients, regardless of age, with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS who were newly enrolled with a medical provider who had a medical visit in each of the four month periods in the measurement year.
4. Viral Load Suppression - Percentage of patients, regardless of age, with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS with a viral load less than 200 copies/ml. at last viral load test during the measurement year.
Why is this good news? And why is it important?
Studies found that when clients attend all of their medical appointments within the first years of diagnosis, survival rates doubled for years afterwards regardless of their use of antiretroviral therapies. And mortality rates are significantly lower among those clients who see their doctors three or four times per year instead of once per year or even every six months.
When people living with HIV/AIDS remain in care, they are more likely to adhere to their medications, have undetectable viral loads, have less opportunistic infections and decrease transmission. Keeping clients in care extends lives and makes for overall healthier communities.