Location of Services:
Chester and Sharon Hill, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Services provided regardless of insurance or ability to pay.
Ryan White Sliding Fee Scale applied to all clients receiving services.
HIV Diagnostic and Treatment Services
From the point of entry into care, clinicians will provide diagnostic services including complete physical examination and laboratory analysis of the current status of HIV infection. Working with the client, a treatment plan is developed which takes into account the analysis of the clinical and laboratory findings to develop an approach to the clinical management of HIV disease. This comprehensive approach also reviews the patient status concerning current vaccinations and a formal approach to adherence counseling. Care is meant to be a life long experience. Clients can expect to be recalled at least four times a year, but appointments are scheduled on an as needed basis according to client needs.
AIDS Drug Assistance Program
Clients residing in the State of Pennsylvania and living without medical insurance may be approved through the State’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program to receive their HIV medications free of charge. Medical and case management staff of the AIDS Care Group work together with the client to apply for these benefits.
Primary Health Care
From the Sharon Hill office primary health care is available to adults. Services include physical examination and laboratory testing. As a primary health care provider, clinicians are available to review preventive health issues and manage those clients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.
Psychiatric Care for those with HIV
A medical psychiatrist is on staff and available to clients of the AIDS Care Group who have previously received medical diagnostic and therapeutic treatment plans. Care is geared to medication reviews to help in the management of acute depression or anxiety.
Women’s Support Groups
Under the leadership of a psychologist a women’s group is meeting twice monthly to review issues pertinent to living with HIV disease. Topics have ranged from money management to dealing with memory loss. A second group has been formed to approach the needs of women recently emigrated from African nations. There is peer counseling and case management support for both of these groups.
Any client living with HIV disease is eligible for dental care. Laboratory records of HIV staging must be made available from the client’s medical provider. Services include: clinical examination, dental radiology, routine fillings, crowns, partials, dentures, and oral surgery.
HIV Case Management
Those living with HIV disease and receiving HIV medical care are offered the services of case management. Today’s complex world often presents the need to navigate multiple civil and institutional impediments to accessing timely care and services. AIDS Care Group case managers help to access needed health insurance benefits, legal aid, transportation services, and housing.
Intensive Discharge Case Management
Ten agencies in the country received funding from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to look into the complex needs of prisoners living with HIV disease who are being held in county jails. Often there is quick turn around time from the point of incarceration to the point of discharge. AIDS Care Group staff are working in the jails of Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Dauphin Counties to help in the identification and discharge planning needs of those living with HIV disease.
Testing is available at the agency’s sites in Chester and Sharon Hill. There is no charge for the HIV test. The agency utilizes the oral test or blood draws. All testing is confidential. Working with the State of Pennsylvania and Hershey Medical Center, the AIDS Care Group is implementing a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative to provide Rapid Testing in the emergency room of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania. Working with Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health, AIDS Care Group staff are providing HIV education and testing to ten drug and alcohol treatment facilities within Delaware County. The AIDS Care Group provides over 2200 HIV tests per year.
Housing counseling for those living with HIV disease who may be eligible for Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) is provided by agency staff to address placement into clean, safe, and affordable housing in Delaware County.
Recognizing the need for additional units within Delaware County, the AIDS Care Group is developing a housing division capable of providing the housing needs of low income tenants. Sites are scattered throughout Delaware County. A new project, St. Michael’s House, is currently under development in Chester’s business section to provide seven units for women.
Days of Sunshine
Addressing the sheer weight of managing HIV disease, AIDS Care Group staff break up the year with events that help improve the quality of life to their clients. Events include: holiday picnics, outings to museums, Thanksgiving food distribution, World AIDS Day memorial and dinner, holiday gift giving, clothing distribution, and food distribution.
AIDS Care Group staff members are currently involved in two research projects funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through the HIV/AIDS Bureau’s Special Projects of National Significance. In 2006 the AIDS Care Group was awarded a five year “Demonstration Project in Oral Health Care Services”. In 2007 the AIDS Care Group was awarded a four year project “Demonstration Model of Innovations in Prisoner Release”. Both projects are fully integrated into HRSA’s Office of Human Research Protections, with supervision through the Western Institutional Review Board, which has conferred the AIDS Care Group with two concurrent Federal Wide Assurance certifications.