Testing for HIV/HCV
Patients were walking into the Northeast Recovery Center with symptoms of fevers and joint or stomach pain. Over time, the Center often learned that the patients were having symptoms of HIV or HCV (Hepatitis C). Use of alcohol, crack cocaine, meth, poppers (amyl nitrite), opioids, and heroin are all closely associated with incidence of HCV and HIV. Both HCV and HIV significantly compromise the auto-immune system, and HIV left untreated progresses to AIDS, which can be deadly and severely hamper quality of life.
The diminishing health of these patients was very concerning to the Recovery Center, especially as they witnessed how these health conditions impact the individual’s treatment recovery. As a health services provider, Northeast Recovery felt they had an obligation to address these diseases linked to substance misuse.
Mutually Beneficial Outcomes of Braided Strategies
- Patients can be tested for HIV and HCV sickness and, if positive, receive health care services that will considerably diminish the impact of these serious diseases. At Northeast Recovery, all patients at intake are now given the chance to opt out of HIV and HCV blood testing.
- The Recovery Center realizes multiple benefits, including:
- Being able to bill for these two tests and for any HCV/HIV services they provide (or refer patients to their local HCV/HIV specialty provider).
- Providing a considerable public health benefit by helping infected individuals learn how to prevent the spread and harmful effects of these diseases.
- Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with the local HCV/HIV provider, which has begun providing Northeast with SUD referrals.