Through a grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, DOORWAYS acquired and customized the Caseworthy case management database and reporting system. While the software will track all agency services and outcomes, the initial focus was to examine shifts in HIV/AIDS statistics during the twelve-month grant cycle, January 1 to December 31, 2017, resulting from placement in permanent housing and provision of support services. As addressed in the final grant report, out of the 898 clients with two data points on the time line within the year, 69 percent (622 people) maintained undetectable counts or improved their counts, showing regression of the virus.
“Housing has been linked to improved health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) as it provides a stable foundation to participate in antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can strengthen the immune system, reverse wasting, and add body weight, lengthening the lifespan and reducing the transmission of HIV,” noted Opal Jones, president and CEO of DOORWAYS. “Homeless people and even those in shelters with HIV/AIDS have a very difficult time managing their healthcare. It’s challenging to make appointments, get to appointments, obtain medications, keep the medications secure, and take the medications as the schedule requires with clean water and a nutritious, high- protein diet. Once housed and provided with DOORWAYS support services, their lives stabilize to the point that they may focus on treatment and recovery.”
Jay Moore, M.D., chairman of the DOORWAYS board of directors and senior clinical director at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, expressed his enthusiasm for the results. “As a medical professional, I recognize the importance of HIV therapy not only for the patient’s health, but also as a community issue. According to www.hiv.gov, no case of HIV transmission has been linked to someone who had a suppressed viral load. Therefore, determining the most effective means of achieving viral suppression is critical. The outcome of this grant supports the opinion that stable housing is an important component for HIV healthcare, and warrants further study,” said Dr. Moore.
DOORWAYS will continue to record and analyze HIV health outcomes for the clients housed by agency. Clients in the five programs—Cooper House, Residential, Own Home, Jumpstart, and Outstate—also receive an intensive case management program with wrap-around support services, referrals, and self-development programming. The new client database will also track client activities and outcomes resulting from these supportive services.