Covid-19 and HIV

Although the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 for people with HIV is not known, people with HIV may have concerns and questions related to their risk.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available.

 

Are people with HIV at higher risk for Covid-19 than other people ?

At the present time, we have no specific information about the risk of COVID-19 in people with HIV.

Older adults and people of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition might be at higher risk for severe illness, including people who are immunocompromised. The risk for people with HIV getting very sick is greatest in:

  • People with a low CD4 cell count, and
  • People not on HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy or ART).

People with HIV can also be at increased risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 based on their age and other medical conditions.

 

What can people with HIV do to protect themselves from COVID-19.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid exposure to the virus.

People with HIV should take everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

People with HIV should also continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

Staying healthy helps your immune system fight off infection should it occur.

If you have HIV and are taking your HIV medicine, it is important to continue your treatment and follow the advice of your health care provider. This is the best way to keep your immune system healthy.

What should I do if I think I might have Covid-19?

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19. Discuss how to get evaluated and how to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19.

Learn more about COVID-19 and what to do if you get sick.

 

What else can people with HIV who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 do to protect themselves?

Nearly half of people in the United States with diagnosed HIV are aged 50 years and older. People with HIV also have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. Both increased age and these conditions can increase their risk for more severe illness if people with HIV get COVID-19, especially people with advanced HIV.

Steps that people with HIV can take to prepare in addition to what is recommended for everybody:

  • Make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of your HIV medicine and any other medications or medical supplies you need for managing HIV.
  • Talk to your health care provider and make sure all your vaccinations are up-to-date, including vaccinations against seasonal influenza and bacterial pneumonia because these vaccine preventable diseases disproportionally affect people with HIV.
  • Establish a plan for clinical care if you have to stay at home for a couple of weeks. Try to establish a telemedicine link through your HIV care provider’s online portal. If telemedicine is not available to you, make sure you can communicate with your provider by phone or text.
  • Make sure you can maintain a social network remotely, such as online, by phone, or by video chat. This can help you stay socially connected and mentally healthy, which is especially important for people with HIV.
  • People with HIV can sometimes be more likely than others to need extra help, from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, and others. If you become sick make sure you stay in touch by phone or email with people who can help you.

 

Can HIV medicine (ART) be used to treat Covid-19?

Some types of HIV medicine (for example, lopinavir-ritonavir) to treat COVID-19 are being evaluated. Results from a clinical trialexternal icon in China showed that lopinavir-ritonavir did not speed up recovery or reduce the amount of virus produced in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia. More than 15 clinical trials of HIV medicines are registered on ClinicalTrials.govexternal icon. Until more is known about the effects of these medicines on COVID-19, people with HIV should not switch their HIV medicine in an attempt to prevent or treat COVID-19.

 

Are shortages of HIV medicine (ART)  or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) expected?

Drug shortages or anticipated problems with HIV medicine have not been identified.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is closely monitoring the drug supply chain as the COVID-19 outbreak has the potential to disrupt the supply of medical and pharmaceutical products in the United States.

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has also remained in contact with the major manufacturers of HIV medicine as many of these products rely on ingredients produced in China.

As of March 10, 2020, there were no reports of manufacturing concerns or supply shortages.

Learn more about the FDA’s response to COVID-19external icon.

 

Should people with HIV travel at this time?

For the latest CDC travel recommendations, visit CDC’s COVID-19 travel information page.

 

What can everyone do to minimize the stigma about Covid-19?

Minimizing stigma and misinformation about COVID-19 is very important. People with HIV have experience in dealing with stigma and can be allies in preventing COVID-19 stigma. Learn how you can reduce stigma and help prevent the spread of rumors about COVID-19.

 

 

 

Information sourced from the Center for Disease Control.

DC Center – Closed Effective 3/16/20

Image of the Coronavirus and the works COVID-19

Taking guidance and recommendations about social distancing from the DC government and the CDC, effective Monday, March 16th, The DC Center for the LGBT Community’s office will be closed. Staff are still working remotely, and will be checking emails and voicemails multiple times each day. Please reach out to supportdesk@thedccenter.org to connect with the DC Center, as we are still able to provide services and support.

If you are interested in attending support groups remotely, please reach out to your facilitator or supportdesk@thedccenter.org and we can provide options for remote meetings using conference lines.

The situation is changing rapidly, please refer to the CDC’s website and coronavirus.dc.gov for up-to-date information on what you can do to help prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The DC Center team will be meeting regularly to assess the situation and rest assured that we will open as soon as it is safe to do so, as we know that many of our clients and participants are vulnerable and will need support. If you are able, please consider donating and supporting organizations that provide food, medicine, and other support to marginalized populations. 

 

If you are facing a life threatening situation or seeking immediate care:

DC Mobile Crisis: 202-673-9300
DC Shelter Hotline: 202.399.7093 or 311
Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
LGBTQ under 25: Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
LGBTQ National Help Center (all ages – various lines/hours): 888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org

 

UPDATE : DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Festival

LGBTQ Health & Wellness Festival

*** Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival, we will no longer have the event on March 28th , a new date will be decided in the future. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information. ***

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we have been forced to reschedule our Wellness Expo. Join us on Saturday, March 28th for our first-ever DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Expo.

Please click here for the updated event information, and if you have previously registered there’s no need to re-register. Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please email supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Social Worker/Therapist

Job Opportunity at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time social worker/therapist. Bilingual in Spanish, a plus. See below for details.

Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually and in group settings, as well as in a couples/collateral therapy capacity, if requested. The person who fills this position is also responsible for assisting on other related projects, such as quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant, outreach and education in the LGBTQ community, and assisting the mission, vision, and values of The DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP). The Social Worker/Therapist will report to the Executive Director.

Special Skills:

The Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. The ideal candidate will have prior nonprofit/grant management experience and is well adept at multitasking in a fast-paced environment. Bilingual capabilities are not required but strongly preferred.

Functions and Duties

Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual, couples, and group mental health support services to a caseload of 25-35 unique clients
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in our clinical database system
  • Collaborate with DC Center staff to provide community-based education and outreach opportunities in line with OVSJG grant requirements
  • Provide data for quarterly reports and help manage grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please click here to apply

How To Access A Free Sexual Assault Exam In DC

If you’ve been sexually assaulted in the last 96 hrs, go to MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) at any time 24/7/365.

To ask a nurse or an advocate your questions first or to receive a free Uber ride to the hospital, call the DC Victim Hotline @1-844-4HELPDC .


For evidence collection (“rape kit”), in case you decide to report to police, try to avoid:

Showering, urinating or having a bowel movement, eating/drinking or smoking, chewing gum, douching, brushing teeth or changing clothes.


Arrive to MWHC , emergency department and let them know you are there for a SANE exam

You will be checked out by an ER physician first. Expect to be at the hospital for an average of 4.5 hours. You will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered by a nurse and an advocate before the exam begins.


If needed, receive free HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention medications

The nurse and physician will run some lab tests to make  sure it is safe for you to take these meds. You will also have the opportunity to follow up for more meds if possible. Please note that if you believe you were exposed to HIV, you will need to arrive at MWHC  72 hours or before to get HIV prevention treatment known as PEP. PEP is only effective in stopping HIV when taken 72 hours after exposure.


Decide whether or not to report to law enforcement

It is 100% your decision whether to report to the police or not. Your kit will be held for a minimum of one year. You may request for MWHC to hold your kit longer but you may have the right to report any time within the statute of limitation.


Rest and track you kit

You can visit a website to track your kit. Your kit will only be sent to the crime lab for testing if you decide to report to law enforcement, but MWHC can send it for toxicology testing if you’d like regardless of your reporting decision.


Receive ongoing support and connection to resources

If you choose , the advocate will continue to support you in any way that you need and connect you to basic , education, legal, and / or social services.

 


  Information sourced from 

 

 

 

Job Opening at the DC Center: Community Engagement Specialist – Position Filled

Job Opportunities at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

***We are no longer accepting applicants***

 

Job Opening at the DC Center: Community Engagement Specialist

 

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time Community Engagement Specialist to work with our new Total Care Team doing Early Intervention Services under our new Ryan White (part A) Grant.   

Position Details:

This position requires a person that is knowledgeable about marginalized communities that are at greater risk for HIV, Hep C, and other STI’s due to barriers minority communities experience due to oppression and socio-economic inequalities.  Much of the work is focused on Gender Non Binary, Transgender and MSM populations.  

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual,queer, and transgender communities of Washington, DC. The Community Engagement Specialist will help to achieve this mission by providing culturally competent  supportive services to the aforementioned populations. This particular grant is status neutral so it includes both positive and negative populations. Persons of color from LGBTQ communities are encouraged to apply, as we seek to develop more diversity within our staff and services.  

 Special Skills:  

The Community Engagement Specialist  will provide referral assistance and direct service (medical and non-medical) to ensure disparities that challenge access to care and/or treatment are addressed to give community members their best chance at maintaining a healthy status through traditional sexual health strategies, biomedical prevention (PrEP); and through treatment as prevention and the U=U model (undetectable = untransmittable). 

The person who fills this position is also responsible for other duties, such as minor case management, outreach, health education, data collection and  data entry. The Community Engagement Specialist will report to the Community Engagement Manager directly.

 

Functions and Duties 

  Community Engagement Specialist / Total Care Team 

 

  1. Collect and enter data from focus populations in respective systems (Careware, Link U, Redcap)
  2. Engage groups and individuals in sexual health education and planning sessions
  3. Provide referrals to eliminate barriers, thus increasing improved health outcomes
  4. Assist in meeting program goals that reduce harm and risk, improving the quality of life 
  5. Provide client-centered service that reflects status neutral healthcare and education
  6. Engage and retain focus population clients in HI-V programming and assist in achieving individual goals. 
  7. Educate on viral suppression and PrEP; providing timely linkage to care
  8. Contribute to programming, marketing, and branding of culturally competent services
  9. Assist in testing, in-reach, outreach, and representing the organization in professional settings
  10. Engage volunteers and clients as directed to meet program and grant deliverables 
  11. Facilitate or Coordinate testing for focus populations
  12. Promote Rapid treatment and Comprehensive Harm & Risk Reduction initiatives
  13. Assist in Facilitating Cultural Competency training’s for organizations and individuals
  14. Assist with Consumer Satisfaction Surveys and data to ensure program effectiveness
  15. Assist in implementing and tracking medical and non-medical support and client outcomes
  16. Work with associated staff to ensure grant deliverables and promote program continuity 
  17. Provide good customer service and assist in various capacities as needed 

 

Please send qualified resumes to  justin@thedccenter.org before Monday, October 7th. Salary Range is expected to fall within $38,480 – $45,760

 

*Interviews will be held on 10/16/19 and 10/17/19 

Planned Parenthood in Residence Event Series!

For more than 80 years, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC (PPMW) has provided high quality, affordable reproductive health care to the Washington, DC community.

To announce the launch of two new health care offerings, gender affirming care and primary care, PPMW has teamed up with The Outrage, an activist apparel company.

The Outrage Store
1722 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

  • Sept 23, 6:00pm-7:00pm – My Body. My Care. Gender Affirming Care with Dr. Serina Floyd, Medical DirectorPPMW
  • Sept 24, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Transforming Health Care: Announcing PPMW Primary Care with Dr. Ryan Montoya, Program Director, Primary Care ServicesPPMW
  • Sept 25, 4:30pm-5:30pm – How to be Engaged in Fighting for Access to Reproductive Health with Betsy Harned, VP Public Affairs, PPMW

For RSVP and more info, go to bit.ly/PPatOutrage

LGBTQ Community Centers #PutPatientsFirst

LGBT Community Center Report

August 14th marks the end of the comment period on the new rules proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will jeopardize the health and well-being of vulnerable populations such as the LGBTQ community. The proposed regulation focuses on Section 1557 of the Health Care Rights Law, a part of the Affordable Care Act that bans gender discrimination. The proposal would erase all reference to protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sex stereotyping, and gender identity.

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers strongly opposes the newly proposed regulation, and, working with a coalition of national, state and local organizations, has generated over 132,400 comments to HHS in opposition to the new rules.
“LGBTQ community centers provide services and referral resources daily to thousands of individuals across our country,” said Lora L. Tucker, CEO of CenterLink. “Centers and their constituents have loudly spoken out against the new HHS rules. The rules promote discrimination and will harm many in our community who need access to basic care.”

Proposing a rule that would gut the Health Care Rights Law is the latest of many attempts the Trump-Pence Administration has made to undermine and threaten access to healthcare to those who need it most.

A patient’s health should always come first. CenterLink and the 250+ LGBTQ community centers who belong to our network will continue to advocate for patients who are medically underserved and help to ensure that the LGBTQ community has access to health care that is free from discrimination or bias.

PrEP Study for Black Men

PrEP Study for Black Men

The Sexuality & Health Equity Lab at the George Washington University is currently recruiting trial participants for a survey study about PrEP advertising that we are conducting with Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Washington, DC metro area.

The study involves completing two 20-minute surveys and receiving a weekly email for 8 weeks, for which respondents will earn two $10 Amazon gift cards (one for each survey) and be entered into a lottery to win $500 in cash. To be eligible, participants must be Black, HIV-negative, PrEP-inexperienced men who are sexually active with other men and reside in the DC metro area.

Download the study flyer below.

GW PrEP Study