Citywide Expansion of Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in the District of Columbia

November 1, 2019

Dr. Doshi

Rupali Doshi, MD, MS (DC Health) has received an NIH CFAR Administrative Supplement entitled, “Citywide Expansion of Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation in the District of Columbia.” This project will address the “Treat” pillar of the nationwide Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative in a jurisdiction with high HIV prevalence and plateau in the number of new HIV diagnoses. 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all with HIV, regardless of CD4 lymphocyte level and as soon as possible, in order to achieve optimal health outcomes and reduce transmission. Most HIV clinicians typically confirm the HIV diagnosis, wait for CD4, viral load, and genotype results, and initiate applications for health insurance and pharmacy benefits before starting treatment. Some small studies in US HIV clinics have demonstrated that same-day or rapid ART initiation decreased the time from HIV diagnosis to viral suppression, but this is not yet the standard practice among DC HIV providers. 

This project will collaborate with the DC Department of Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA) to promote and support the expansion of rapid ART initiation among HIV care sites in DC, ultimately aiming to improve community-level viral suppression and reduce new HIV infections in DC.

Click here for more information on NIH CFAR Ending the HIV Epidemic Supplements.