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Our focus is on providing exceptional Tampa HIV care. Within our safe and supportive environment, we closely follow the guidelines of the HIV care continuum to ensure comprehensive support for our patients’ needs.
Getting tested for STIs is a crucial part of your overall health plan. We know that it can be stressful getting tested, but if you receive a positive diagnosis, the good news is there are treatment options available. And while there isn’t a cure for HIV, our Tampa HIV care team can help you live your best life symptom-free. We follow the public health model called the HIV care continuum to help our patients achieve successful viral suppression.
What Is The HIV Care Continuum?
The HIV care continuum is the process used by healthcare facilities like ours to help patients with positive HIV diagnoses get the care they need. The process looks like this:
Step 1: HIV diagnosis
Step 2: Connection to HIV medical care
Step 3: Getting HIV medical care
Step 4: Keeping HIV medical care
Step 5: Achieving and maintaining viral suppression
Harmony Healthcare makes it simple to find the care you need for your sexual health (as well as your overall health). With regular STI checks, you won’t need to wonder or worry about potential infections or health concerns going unnoticed. Here’s how our Tampa HIV care team helps you navigate through the HIV care continuum.
Step 1: HIV Diagnosis
We want it to be as easy as possible to take charge of your sexual health, so we offer STI testing to walk-in patients as well as those who have appointments. The testing visit starts with a quick blood sample taken by a finger stick. These are FDA-approved CLIA-waived rapid tests that detect antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in your blood. Results take about 15 minutes.
If your test shows a reactive or positive result, we will take a blood sample to send for a confirmatory test at the lab. The finger-stick test looks for antibodies, not the virus itself. So, this next test helps rule out any chance of false-reactive results caused by conditions like Lupus or other autoimmune issues. It’s the confirmatory test that tells whether someone is positive or negative for HIV.
Step 2: Connection to HIV Medical Care
If you were tested at our Tampa HIV care clinic and received a positive result, connecting with HIV medical care is the next step. Getting treatment for an HIV diagnosis promptly is crucial, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. We’ll assist you in accessing the necessary medical care and provide the guidance and resources you need to manage your health effectively after a diagnosis. Your well-being is our priority.
Step 3: Getting HIV Medical Care
Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) forms the cornerstone of HIV treatment, requiring a daily regimen of medications. Starting this treatment promptly after an HIV diagnosis is crucial. While ART doesn’t cure HIV, it significantly reduces the risk of transmission and lowers the viral load to an undetectable level.
It’s important to mention that when someone consistently keeps their viral load undetectable through treatment, the chance of passing HIV to their HIV-negative partners during sex becomes extremely low. Adhering to ART not only helps manage the virus but also supports the overall health and well-being of those living with HIV.
Step 4: Keeping HIV Medical Care
HIV treatment is an ongoing journey that requires a continued relationship with your medical provider. At our Tampa HIV care facility, our dedicated team supports patients undergoing HIV treatment. We assist in managing medications, ensuring regular check-ups, and fostering connections to counseling or other vital non-medical resources.
Beyond medical assistance, we prioritize comprehensive care, aiming to address the physical as well as the emotional and social needs of our patients navigating HIV treatment. Building a solid partnership between our healthcare team and patients is fundamental to successful HIV management and overall well-being.
Step 5: Achieving and Maintaining Viral Suppression
According to a CDC study, individuals with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load can lead long, healthy lives without transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners during sexual activity. This concept is often called “Undetectable = Untransmittable” or U=U.
Harmony Healthcare Cares
Partnering with our Tampa HIV care team can put you on the path to U=U so you can live your life without having to worry about your HIV status. Come to us for STI tests, then stay with us for any treatment that you require. We’ll lock arms with you as we navigate the path to optimal health – even living with HIV. Contact our clinic for more information.