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Community Strength Project

Community Strength Project

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Get Informed - Learn about services available through Maricopa County's Ryan White programs and other HIV news and resources. Learn More…
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Get Tested -
Find out how and where you can be tested for HIV. Learn More
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Get Care -
Medical care and support services are available for HIV positive and affected individuals. Click here for more information.. Learn More…
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Get Involved - You don't have to deal with HIV alone. Find out how to get involved.. Learn More…

The Community Strength Project (CSP) is a program of HIV care and engagement. Centered on HIV positive women, infants, children and youth, the CSP encompasses much more.  There are many opportunities for you to:

  • Get Informed – Ask the questions you have.  Download an HIV related app.  Make sure the information is reliable.
  • Get Tested – Everybody has an HIV status.  Do you know yours?
  • Get Care – If you are HIV positive, health care is available to you. The Ryan White program can help.
  • Get Involved – Join the Ryan White Planning Council or CAB or volunteer for MIHS or one of the AIDS Service Organizations.

MIHS image 4 Community Strength Project90-90-90: What is it and Why does it Matter?

90-90-90 is a set of goals set by the United Nations in 2013. The idea is that by 2030:

  • 90% of people who are HIV positive will know;
  • 90% of those who know will be taking medicine; and
  • 90% of those taking medicine will have a viral load in their blood that is not detectable. 

This strategy tries to control the HIV epidemic. It is based on testing and treatment for all. The thought is that if people know they are infected and start treatment right away, we prevent the spread of HIV. This reduces how common HIV is at a population level. 

There are more than 36 million HIV-positive people in the world. These goals mean that:

  • 33 million people will know their status;
  • 29 million will be taking medicine; and
  • 26 million will have blood with a low amount of the virus. 

Right now, we know that the 90-90-90 goals are a bold challenge to the world. The goals effect how HIV can be treated in the future.  They also show how HIV can be spread now.  Here’s where we are:

  • 23 million people (67%) know their status;
  • 18 million people (50%) are taking medication; and
  • 12 million people (33%) have a low amount of virus in their blood. 

How realistic is this plan?

This is a plan to control the spread of HIV and move towards an HIV-free world. While worldwide test and treat options are helpful, they can be difficult to start in low income areas. 

People who do not know their status are not looking for care. This plan requires doctors and nurses to identify HIV in people who do not show symptoms. It involves moving HIV testing into the community, including hard reaching areas. 

Next, we need to get those who have the disease into care quickly. This means starting medication as soon as possible.  Even if someone does not show signs of the disease or may not feel ready to start treatment need to start medicine. There needs to be support in the community and information about why starting medicine early matters. 

Many types of drug therapy need to be available worldwide at all times. Once treatment starts, people need to keep taking it so they do not pass the virus on. 

First, they need resources for access to HIV testing. Second, they need resources to get the drugs and prevent running out of them. Third, they need resources to keep people on treatment for life. No country, either rich or poor, has reached this level of access to care.

Let Us Celebrate Our Journey with the Power of Wellness
Women from the McDowell Healthcare Center joined together to celebrate the holidays with a catered brunch, music, raffles and gifts. Lorraine Brown, Family Advocate, welcomed nearly 40 members and guests to the event. Special guest Carol Williams, founder of the McDowell Women’s Group, reminisced about the groups modest beginnings and how valuable the support group has now become. Attendees were thrilled to receive yoga mats and healthy eating cookbooks, generously donated by Maricopa Health Foundation, and copies of “Just Hit Send: A Journey to Freedom” written and donated by Jody Vehr. With the theme “Let Us Celebrate Our Journey with the Power of Wellness”, new speakers will present a variety of healthy living, crafts, stress reduction and physical activities to help women become empowered and inspired to live a healthy lifestyle. The McDowell Women’s Group meets every Thursday from 9:30am – 11:30am at the McDowell Healthcare Center, 1101 North Central, Phoenix. The McDowell Women’s Group, a Ryan White Part D program, is funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2011, the Maricopa County Department of Employee Benefits and Health, and Maricopa Integrated Health System.

MIHS image 5 Community Strength Project

Managing Your HIV:  There are tools for that!
MIHS image 6 Community Strength ProjectMaking the decision with your medical provider to begin treatment for HIV/AIDS can be daunting. You might not know what to expect when starting or switching treatment. Will you remember to take your medications? Will they have any side effects? What if you don't understand medical terminology?  How will you keep track of your health information? Taking advantage of new technologies, like mobile and web apps, can help you better manage your health care. Here are some tools to get started.

AIDSinfo Drug Database mobile app:
The Drug Database app has detailed and up-to-date information in both English and Spanish, on HIV/AIDS-specific and related drugs. This smartphone app makes searching for your medications easy. It allows you to search by drug name, class, approval status, and A-Z index, and even shows pictures of most drugs. Not only is it a database, but it also has options for you to list the medications you take, add any personal notes about your medications (for example: note any potential side effects), and set pill alarms to keep you on track. It is free for download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices.   

AIDSinfo HIV Glossary mobile app:
The HIV Glossary app has detailed and up-to-date information, in both English and Spanish, on 700+ HIV/AIDS-specific related medical terms (for example: CD4 cell, viral suppression, meningitis, ADAPs, among many other terms). This smartphone app makes searching easy, as you can search by term or by A-Z index. The definitions are both written and audio recorded, so you can choose to read or listen on the app to learn more. It is free for download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices.

MyChart web and mobile apps:
The MyChart online patient portal and smartphone app give you secure access to your electronic medical records at the McDowell Healthcare Center. MyChart allows you to see certain health information that your medical provider enters into your chart, such as your immunizations, allergies, lab results, and medical and appointment history. You can access this information quickly, and can even save it as a pdf for your records. If you have a non-urgent question for your provider (for example: you aren't sure what a lab result means), you can message them through MyChart at your convenience. If you are a patient at the McDowell Healthcare Center and want to start using MyChart, talk to your provider about turning on your access. MyChart is available via the web, or is free for download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices

To get more information on newsletter go to: Family Advocate Email

Funded in whole or in part by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2011, the Maricopa County Department of Employee Benefits and Health, and the Maricopa Integrated Health System

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