Atlanta—For Mark Thrun, MD, and his colleagues
at the Denver Public Health Department's infectious disease clinic, the wake-up
call came about three years ago. They realized that several of their male
patients with HIV infection also were being treated for other sexually transmitted
diseases (STDs) in a separate STD clinic five floors away.
"We weren't aware of the fact that they were coming in with STDs," Thrun
told an audience at the 2003 National HIV Prevention Conference here in late
July. The missed communication between physicians and patients led Thrun and
his colleagues to question what else was being missed in the care of HIV-infected
patients. The answer: HIV prevention counseling in which physicians ask patients
about specific behaviors that increase their risk of transmitting HIV or being
reinfected with a different strain of the virus.
Voelker R. As AIDS Cases Increase, Health Experts Warn Against Missed Prevention Opportunities. JAMA. 2003;290(10):1304-1306. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1304