San Francisco’s Getting to Zero Initiative has three main goals, in alignment with UNAIDS’ 2020 Fast-Track Targets. zero new HIV infections, zero HIV deaths, and zero HIV stigma.

On September 27, 2016, I had the immense honor of presenting on behalf of HIVE at the HIV Nursing Network Dinner as part of a series of “Getting to Zero” presentations.

My assignment? To describe the role HIVE plays in getting to zero. In preparing for this presentation (click here for slides), I realized many members of the HIV Nursing Network are key components behind little-known yet important piece of data. Since 2004, all babies have been born HIV-free in San Francisco.

The room was packed with veteran and new healthcare professionals. Nurses, pharmacists, social workers, case managers, and frontline health workers, each committed to seeing the end of HIV.

When I got to the slide with a big “0” on it (representing the number of babies born with HIV in San Francisco since 2004), I paused and asked “How many of you have ever referred a patient to HIVE?”. A majority of attendees smiled, and shot their hands straight into the air. They could take pride in knowing their referrals and care coordination efforts have resulted in a statistic to celebrate.

But staying at zero requires vigilance. According to the SF Department of Public Health 2015 HIV Epidemiology Annual Report, 24 women were newly diagnosed with HIV in San Francisco in 2015 (Table 2.1, page 18). In 2014, that number was 12. Compared to previous years, greater proportions of new diagnoses in women have shifted to younger age groups. Sixteen of the 24 women newly diagnosed in 2015 are of reproductive age.

My hope is that each of these 24 women newly diagnosed with HIV is asked by their healthcare provider about their reproductive desires. What’s good for women’s health and maternal health is good for baby. In order to stay at zero perinatal HIV transmissions, front line health workers must be empowered to screen people living with and affected by HIV for sexual partners and reproductive intentions. Reproductive intentions and HIV prevention go hand in hand.

Resources:

Refer to HIVE

Online resources:

Chicago #HIVLoveWins Video Series

Yes, I Can

Living with HIV, Having Kids, and the Importance of Medication Adherence

PRO Men

Reproductive Health Clinic:

995 Potrero Avenue
Ward 86, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center
San Francisco, CA 94110

  • Patients or couples who are in a serodifferent relationship
  • Patients who need help with HIV-disclosure, understanding HIV transmission risk or HIV prevention strategies
  • Couples who have questions about family planning in the context of HIV (including safer conception, contraception, etc.)
  • People living with HIV who want to talk about single parenting, co-parenting or surrogacy

Clinic takes place on the first Friday of every month. To make an appointment for yourself or a patient: e-mail Guy.Vandenberg@ucsf.edu or call 415-206-2482.

 

Karishma Oza is the HIVE Program Coordinator based at San Francisco General Hospital. Her passions include: reproductive health and rights, HIV treatment and prevention, health equity, and increasing access to care globally. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, biking, volunteering, traveling, potluck dinner parties, listening to people’s life stories, and learning new languages. Follow her on Twitter: @karishma_oza.