RAPID ART STUDY
The Rapid ART study created in partnership with Gilead aims to determine if rapid start of antiretroviral therapy (ART) increases retention in HIV medical care. The study is led by Dr. Bailey Bolten. The study is designed to closely work with the local health department to identify patients who have been newly diagnosed with HIV and reduce the standard time to linkage to care. The study aims to see that there will be an increase in retention in care with rapid start, by removing barriers that would normally delay enrollment in our treatment program and enforce the importance of linkage to care and ART initiation from diagnosis. Since there is lacking data on rapid start of ART in medically vulnerable and desperate populations; the study aims to focus on high-risk, vulnerable populators, including women, youth, racial and ethnic minorities, and individual co-infected with Hepatitis C.
According to CDC data, Southern states account for a disproportionate number of persons living with HIV (PLWH) in the US. Southern geographic, racial, and gender factors have a marked impact in driving the HIV regional epidemic. In addition, income inequities, cultural factors and lack of access to care have contributed to poorer health outcomes in general, including rising rates of obesity, infant mortality and malignancy. All these factors have led to a lack of existing data on retention in care with novel HIV treatment strategies, despite the adoption of a high-impact prevention (HIP) approach by the CDC since 2010. Our study more specifically aims to close the current data deficiency gaps in a Southern state, leading to streamlined strategies for HIV treatment and retention in care.