October 1991

Community-Based Plan for Treating Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Individuals Sponsored by Local Medical Societies and an Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Service Organization

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Medical College of Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Va (Drs Green and Haggerty) and the Peninsula AIDS Foundation, Newport News, Va (Ms Hale).

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(10):2061-2064. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400100127021

Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus frequently experience difficulty finding medical care from private physicians. Fear of occupational exposure, prejudice, lack of knowledge, and financial loss have all been cited as reasons for the reluctance of primary care physicians to accept patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome into their practices. To meet the medical needs of all patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, this Virginia community adopted a voluntary rotational referral plan to provide primary care for all such individuals. The program required the cooperation of a voluntary pool of internists and family practitioners and an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome service organization with a volunteer physician advisor to coordinate referrals of unassigned patients. No physician received more than three referrals per year. During the 2 years of operation, 118 referrals were made to 30 physicians. Regular educational seminars were provided with medical updates and consultation support was provided. This locally based program appears to be meeting the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome challenge in this community and may have applicability to other communities as well.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2061-2064)