Service

INTEGRATED PRIMARY CARE FOR HIV AND RELATED DISEASES

In 1985, GHESKIO opened the first Voluntary Counseling and Testing center in Haiti.  As the link between HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, and overall reproductive health became clear, GHESKIO developed a model of comprehensive care for HIV/AIDS and related illnesses.  Central to the GHESKIO model is the concept that an individual at risk or already infected with HIV should be quickly identified and provided access to a package of services including voluntary counseling and testing, management of sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis screening and treatment, reproductive health services, HIV care including antiretroviral therapy, and services to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV.  Currently, GHESKIO receives about 100,000 patient visits annually.  Importantly, the health care provided by GHESKIO is free of charge, including services and medications.  This is critical because the population served by the clinic comprises Haiti’s extreme poor and includes those at highest risk for communicable diseases.  The standard of care offered approximates that offered by the best private practitioners and facilities in Haiti.  GHESKIO’s primary care services are described below.

 

HIV Counseling and Testing All patients tested for HIV receive pre and post-test counseling. Counseling includes an assessment of the patient’s knowledge of HIV transmission and the development of a personalized HIV risk-reduction strategy for each patient. All patients are encouraged to visit the family planning clinic, where condoms and other family planning options are offered. Individualized counseling is provided for each HIV-positive patient.
Adult AIDS Care Comprehensive HIV/AIDS care including antiretroviral therapy is offered with a focus on the HIV-affected family. For patients who cannot travel to the center, home care is provided. The quality of HIV/AIDS care is comparable to care provided at academic medical centers in the United States.
Adolescent Care Primary care for adolescents who are HIV infected or at high risk of HIV infection is provided in a clinic specifically designed for teens between the ages of thirteen and nineteen.
Dental Clinic Preventative dental care, early recognition, and treatment for oral manifestations of HIV are essential to reduce HIV-related morbidity. Free dental services are provided as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention and response.
Ophthalmology The ophthalmology clinic provides free eye care for children, adolescents, and adults.
Pediatrics GHESKIO’s pediatric infectious disease specialists provide AIDS care and antiretroviral therapy to HIV-infected children and infants born to HIV infected mothers.
Sexually Transmitted Infections GHESKIO provides diagnosis and treatment for several thousand patients with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia each year. In collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health, GHESKIO developed national guidelines with simple algorithms for diagnosis, treatment, and preventative counseling for sexually transmitted infections.
Rape Counseling Specialized counseling, post-exposure antiretroviral therapy, emergency contraception, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases are provided to women who have suffered sexual violence.
Tuberculosis GHESKIO has one of the largest outpatient tuberculosis populations in Haiti. Annually, about 500 patients are diagnosed and receive treatment. The center has developed new ways to improve patients’ compliance and to identify those who have multiple-drug-resistant infections.
Reproductive Health The Reproductive Health Unit is integrated with all other services provided by GHESKIO, offering family planning services and prenatal/obstetrical care. The Reproductive Unit oversees the program to prevent mother to child HIV transmission, combining antiretroviral drug therapy and the provision of artificial milk to prevent transmission during breast feeding. For HIV-infected pregnant women at GHESKIO, the mother to child HIV transmission rate has been reduced from 30% to 9%.

 

Learn more about additional services provided by GHESKIO