The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened its state-of-the-art facility in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Wednesday, September 27, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new AHF Capitol Hill Healthcare Center offers its clients a waiting room-free design, a built-in pharmacy, and holistic care.
“The goal is to maximize efficiency using this patient-centered model to improve health outcomes and increase retention in care” said Mike McVikar, AHF’s Regional Director for the DMV.
“In 1998, AHF operated only in the city of Los Angeles, had three clinics, and had fewer than three thousand clients” Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel, told the ribbon-cutting attendees. Now, “25 years later, [in] 45 countries, 1.8 million people [are] in care.”
This clinic, at 650 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, on the building’s third floor, delivers on state-of-the-art excellence AHF has set for its standards across the world.
“All testing is done free of charge,” Darla Kemp, the clinic’s office administrator, told Metro Weekly. “The only requirement is a valid photo I.D. If you need treatment, that’s also free of charge. If you’ve been diagnosed positive and you come here, even if you don’t have any insurance, you will still be able to come under our Ryan White program.”
The Ryan White program pays for medical and social support services for people living with HIV.
The qualifications for the Ryan White program are living at or below “three hundred percent of the poverty level, an HIV diagnosis, and living within the jurisdiction” of the clinic, John Hassel, National Director of Advocacy at AHF, told Metro Weekly at the opening.
This means anyone making less than $3,646 per month could be eligible.
Ryan White-funded clinics, like this one, “are the solution to getting people living with HIV in care, healthy, and undetectable” Hassel continued. “When someone is in the Ryan White program, their viral suppression is likely to be achieved.”
This clinic location is particularly exciting “because it’s right across from the metro,” said Hassel. “[It’s] on the edge of [the] wards that have the highest HIV prevalence rate in the District of Columbia — Ward eight and Ward seven.
“It’s also a stigma-free environment. [If] you’re coming over here, you’re walking in a building that’s not identified as an HIV clinic. It’s identified only with our acronym and…you could be coming in to access a bunch of other offices.” The pharmacy is also onsite.
AHF’s clinic focuses on patient experience and comfort. Darla Kemp described the facility as “one-stop shopping” for HIV care and services.
The AHF Capitol Hill Healthcare Center is located at 650 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Suite 310. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Call 202-350-5000.
To find an AHF Clinic near you, visit https://locations.hivcare.org.
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