HIV care to low-income adults advanced by $2.5 million grant

The School of Medicine has received a $2.5 million grant to provide medical care to low-income and underserved adults living with HIV. The five-year grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was awarded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act.

The grant provides resources to address both early intervention services, including HIV testing, and the full range of medical care to patients with HIV/AIDS who are either uninsured or underinsured.

In St. Louis, an estimated 4,700 people are living with HIV/AIDS. As much as 40 percent of them are unaware they have HIV, which disproportionately affects minorities and the poor.

“This funding is crucial because it supports both HIV testing to help prevent the disease from spreading further and provides care to people living with HIV who would otherwise have little or no access to treatment,” said Turner Overton, M.D., the grant’s recipient and an assistant professor of medicine. “Our goal is to identify people who need HIV care and make sure they get treatment early and over the long term.”

The University’s program will work with local AIDS service organizations and with St. Louis City and County health departments to encourage HIV testing and help more patients get appropriate care, Overton said.

The University’s Infectious Diseases outpatient practice is the largest provider of medical care to people living with HIV/AIDS in the region. The medical school also receives Ryan White funding to provide HIV care to children, youth (ages 13-24) and women through a family centered approach.