In the 18 months that Tavell L. Kindall, D.N.P., APRN, FNP, a board-certified family nurse practitioner, has worked at St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans, he’s increased the viral suppression rate of the center’s HIV-positive patients from 65% to nearly 90%. To compare, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s goal and the national average are both approximately 85% suppression.Read More
Screening for HIV
In the US, 13% of people with HIV are unaware they are infected. In Louisiana, that number is even higher: 20%. At St. Thomas, we provide screening for HIV and other STDs as one of our main services. All adolescents and adults should have at least one HIV test in their lifetime. More frequent screening is done for people with risk factors for infection. Your provider will talk with you about these risk factors and help determine how often you should be tested.
For those who test positive, getting into care as soon as possible improves health and reduces the risk of transmission of the virus. At St. Thomas we can link people to care at the time of diagnosis.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, started in 1990, is the largest federal program specifically focused on providing comprehensive care and support services to persons living with HIV. Our specialists work to assist patients with all their needs with the goal of viral suppression (getting the virus to a very low level in the blood).
Medications are recommended for all people living with HIV as soon as possible after diagnosis. Our specialists can provide you with the medicine you need and answer any questions you might have, as well as provide resources for your care. People who are in care and on medications are much more likely to stay healthy and less likely to spread the virus.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention strategy for people who are HIV negative but at high risk of contracting the virus. PrEP is a comprehensive prevention program which includes taking a pill once a day. This medication has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing HIV when it is taken every day. We PrEP Together is an initiative started by St. Thomas Community Health Center aimed at increasing awareness of and access to PrEP among those who are most at risk in New Orleans. You can learn more about We PrEP Together and related services here.