Although there is no cure for HIV, there are treatment options that can help people with the infection realize long and productive lives. Patients who receive appropriate medical care, adhere to their regimens and lower their viral loads (amount of HIV in their blood) are less likely to pass the virus on to their sex or needle-sharing partners. In this way, health care providers can play a key role to help reduce HIV transmission.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are key partners of the Health Department in addressing HIV in Vermont. CDC and HRSA provide evidence-based guidance on a range of topics that can help health care professionals deliver quality HIV testing, treatment and prevention services to their patients.
Vermont medical providers who are treating patients with HIV infection can consult with local specialists at the Comprehensive Care Clinics, with four outlets around our state. The main office is located within the Infectious Disease Program at the UVM Medical Center.
Health care providers with HIV negative patients at high risk for HIV infection can learn how to administer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). CDC offers a telephone consultation service for medical providers/clinicians seeking information about PrEP. Providers can quickly get expert guidance from a staff of experienced clinicians. Although all clinicians can benefit from the service, the focus of the PrEPline is on those physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are most likely to be providing primary care to HIV-uninfected patients facing high risk of acquiring HIV infection.
Call the PrEPline: CDC Telephone Consultation Service
- The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory performs clinical testing in the following areas: Bacteriology, Mycology and Mycobacteriology, Virology, Parasitology, Serology, Molecular Subtyping, Urine Drug Testing and Blood Lead Testing.
- Vermont Guidelines for Universal HIV Counseling and Voluntary Testing of Pregnant Women
- Vermont Guidelines for Universal HIV Counseling and Voluntary Testing of Pregnant Women Summary and Reference table
- Vermont Guidelines for Universal HIV Counseling and Voluntary Testing of Pregnant Women Provider flow chart
- Vermont medical office display poster
- Comprehensive Care Clinics, (HIV specialists) at UVM Medical Center, Infectious Disease Program (a provider referral and consultation resource)
- Guidelines related to HIV treatment for adults and adolescents, perinatal treatment, and co-infection with other germs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- More information for health care providers related to HIV treatment and prevention, including HIV Pre-and Post-exposure Prophylaxis from the CDC
- CDC Flow chart shows how any prescribing health care provider can provide Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) care
- CDC HIV Testing in Clinical Settings info and resources page
Pursuant to 18 V.S.A § 1001 (g), the Vermont Department of Health offers the following sample language for health care providers to inform patients of HIV reporting requirements and the existence of testing sites that can provide anonymous testing services:
“Positive HIV laboratory results are required to be reported to the Vermont Department of Health under the Reportable and Communicable Diseases Rule (available at http://www.healthvermont.gov/disease-control/disease-reporting). This means that I am required to report your name to the Health Department if the result is positive.
Confidential, rapid HIV screening is available at community-based settings for people at high risk of HIV infection. A list of these sites can be found on the Department’s website (http://www.healthvermont.gov/disease-control/hiv-std-hepatitis-community-resources/free-hiv-testing-community-based-settings). If a screening test is reactive, a confirmatory test is needed. Only healthcare providers can offer confirmatory testing, and they would be required to report positive results and patients’ names to the Health Department.”