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HIV and AIDS Medicine

Programs and Services


A large majority of people who are aware of their HIV status come to Albany Medical Center for treatment because of the many services we offer and our quality of care patients receive. Walk-ins for HIV testing are available at our clinic for anyone who is unaware of their HIV status from 8:30am-3:30pm.

 

Case Management Services

Albany Medical Center case management is an organized system that assists patients in accessing services that they need. By utilizing a team approach, case managers involve the patient, health care providers, and other agencies in a process targeting the patient’s specific areas of concern.
 
Case managers meet with patients to assess their psychosocial and medical care coordination needs. Based on this assessment, case managers work with patients to develop a service plan that addresses the needs of the patient and their family. As needs change, case managers provide patients with continued support, education, and advocacy. Staff is available to assist with an array of needs including:

  • Family and domestic issues (i.e.: disclosure, partner notification, domestic violence, permanency planning)
  • Health insurance
  • Home care
  • Referrals for mental health and substance abuse services (both within the program and externally).

Albany Med’s case management staff can also refer patients for more intense case management services and to agencies to assist with housing, food, income assistance, SSI and disability services, and employment services.
 
Team case management provides intake and assessment services as well as care coordination and referrals to other Albany Medical Center and community programs.
 
Family case management is also available for patients with dependent children, patients who are pregnant, and patients less than 24 years of age. Family case management provides more intensive services for those patients and their families who have complicated needs and require long-term, on-going support from a case manager. In conjunction with the patient and the healthcare team, family case managers assess and address the psychosocial needs of the entire family unit and assist in coordination of medical care.

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Consumer Involvement Opportunities

We offer several opportunities for our clients to provide feedback and direction regarding the services that we provide and to assist us in identifying current issues facing our clients. We have an active Community Advisory Board (CAB), which meets on alternate months. Our CAB addresses issues related to our clinic and to the surrounding community. The CAB also addresses issues related to our Part D Program grant in reference to women, youth, children, and families living with HIV/AIDS.
 
There are numerous support groups available to help those living with HIV/AIDS. If you would like more information on how to attend CAB meetings, please contact Jennifer Bates at (518) 264-2953.

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HIV Counseling and Testing on Site

Confidential HIV testing is available on an outpatient basis free of charge. Outpatient clinics at AMC use the Oraquick rapid test; an HIV test which does not require a blood draw.

  • An oral swab is taken and results are back within 20 minutes.
    If results come back positive, blood is drawn and sent to the lab for confirmation.
  • At our Albany and Kingston locations, patients are confidentially linked with a provider immediately if the test comes back positive at no charge.
  • Counseling sessions are given regardless of whether the results are positive or negative.

Free HIV Testing Walk-In Hours are 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

In addition, appointments can be scheduled by calling (518) 262-6923.

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HIV Treatment Adherence and Counseling Services

Albany Medical Center’s Treatment Adherence Program is available to anyone who is HIV positive, whether they are on medications or contemplating taking medications. Our services are offered through a network of providers in the Capitol District and in the Kingston area at the Mid-Hudson Care Center.

The focus of the Adherence Program is to provide clients with the tools needed to be successful in taking their antiretroviral therapies. Education is provided on HIV disease, the importance of medication adherence, and the use of adherence aids and tools.

Our staff provides counseling over a series of visits, based on the client's needs. Our team includes AIDS Certified registered nurses and peer advocates who work with our case management staff and community case managers to assist clients in overcoming barriers, such as problems with housing, food, insurance, and transportation.
 
All referrals to our Adherence Program services come from the client's primary medical provider.

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Massage Therapy Program

The Massage Therapy Program at Albany Medical Center is a complimentary therapy which offers the benefits of stress reduction and relaxation. It soothes tense and sore muscles and has been shown in clinical studies to enhance immunity. Massage therapy is offered to the patients of the HIV/AIDS treatment center.
 
Appointments are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM. Each session is one hour in duration. Massages will be provided by our therapist, Lisa Kay, LMT. 

If you are interested in our massage therapy program, please call (518) 264-8686 and leave a detailed message that includes a phone number where you can be reached. Our therapists will return your call to help you set up an appointment and answer any additional questions you may have.
 
Click Here for a printable flyer.

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Medical Social Work

Inpatient medical social workers assist patients while in the hospital with a variety of issues including entitlements, housing issues, referrals for homecare, and end of life issues. This hospital-based staff is an integral part of the health care team, often providing intensive services to patients while they are in crisis or at medically difficult times. The inpatient and outpatient case managers work collaboratively to provide a continuity of care when patients are admitted and/or discharged.

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Mental Health Services

Albany Medical Center’s AIDS Program and the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York offers mental health services to assist people dealing with the emotional and psychological impact of living with HIV. Living with HIV presents many challenges and our experienced mental health counselors are available to assist patients in coping with the day-to-day stress of their illness. Therapy is available to help with understanding and managing thoughts, coping skills, feelings and behaviors. Some common treatment issues include:

  • HIV diagnosis
  • Disclosing HIV status
  • Handling life transitions
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Loss and concern around disease progression
  • Stress
  • Problem-solving
  • Assertiveness
  • Self-esteem
  • Living well with chronic illness
     

Mental health and physical health are important aspects of maintaining overall well being. Services include:

  • Assessments for therapy
  • Brief supportive counseling
  • Individual, couples and family counseling
  • Support groups and group therapy
  • Psychiatric consultation
  • Medication management 

Patients may be referred for participation in these services by their healthcare provider or case manager. Services are initiated via a referral form from the patient’s healthcare provider and are available regardless of ability to pay.
 
Funding support for HIV Mental Health Services is provided by Albany Medical Center's AIDS Program through a grant from the New York State Department of Health's AIDS Institute and other support from Albany Medical College.
 
In addition to HIV mental health counseling and psychiatric services at Albany Medical Center, we provide support and educational groups at both Albany Medical Center’s AIDS Program and the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY. The groups vary from weekly “Healthy Living with HIV” groups that are co-facilitated by peer staff and the mental health counselor to one time topic specific groups facilitated by a licensed mental health counselor. 

To find out more about current HIV support groups and HIV Mental Health Services, please contact Sheila Boyle, ACRN, MS, Director of Client Services, by telephone at (518) 262-4025.

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Nutrition Services

The AIDS Program at Albany Medical Center includes a team of clinical dietitians to assess nutritional needs for inpatients and outpatients. The team provides recommendations to restore or maintain the best possible health status and assistance with special dietary needs. We offer Bioimpedence Analysis (BIA) to all patients to evaluate and monitor distribution of body water, fat and muscle mass. 

For more information about nutritional support services, please call: (518) 262-4043.

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Part D Program for Women, Youth, Children and Families

The Part D Program has provided services to HIV positive women, youth, children, and their affected family members for over 20 years. We work with both funded and unfunded service providers to reduce barriers that might prevent those who are HIV positive from getting care and treatment.

The goals of the Part D Program are to:

  • Reduce the transmission of HIV from mother to child
  • Coordinate services and reduce barriers to care for women, youth, children, and families
  • Provide outreach and linkage to care for at-risk adolescents and minority communities
  • Educate clients regarding the availability of clinical trials
  • Maintain collaborations that promote a continuum of care for clients
  • Promote client involvement

Through outreach and case finding, individuals are identified and linked to HIV testing, care, and support services. Our intensive family-centered case management services are offered through a network of providers in both the Capital District and the Mid-Hudson Regions.

Case management:

  • AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, Albany
  • AIDS Treatment Center of Albany Medical College, Albany
  • Hudson River Health Care, Poughkeepsie
  • Maternal Child Adolescent Treatment Services, Albany
  • Mid-Hudson Care Center, Kingston
  • Whitney M. Young Health Center, Albany

Outreach programs:

  • Albany Damien Center, Albany
  • Catholic Charities AIDS Services, Schenectady

Access to HIV/AIDS research:

  • Clinical Research Program at the AIDS Treatment Center, Albany

Community involvement:

  • Part D Community Advisory Board (CAB), Albany

Transportation:

  • AIDS Related Community Services (ARCS), Hawthorne

For more information contact Jennifer Bates, Part D Program coordinator:
(518) 264-2953.

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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention

Contact Albany Medical Center at 518-262-6923 for additional information, eligibility and requirements for PrEP.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a pill taken every day that can help prevent HIV infection in people who DO NOT have HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PreP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection.

When used consistently, PrEP has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at substantial risk, PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken every day.

People who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug daily and seeing their health care provider every three months for HIV testing and other follow-up.

PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool, and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone.

PrEP does not prevent other sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

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Primary Medical Care

The Albany Medical Center AIDS program provides primary medical care for patients with HIV infection at two locations:

  • AIDS Treatment Center, Albany, New York
    To make an appointment, please call (518) 262-4043
  • Mid-Hudson Care Center, Kingston, New York
    To make an appointment, please call (845) 339-6755

AIDS Treatment Center, Albany
The AIDS Treatment Center (ATC), part of the Division of HIV Medicine at Albany Medical Center, provides comprehensive medical care in a primary care setting for adults and adolescents (age 16 and up) living with HIV. The practice currently serves over 1,700 patients. The ATC is only one half mile from the Medical Center and offers clients a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Patients are seen for general medical, gynecological, and HIV-related care, including management of hepatitis B and C.  Free transportation to AMC is available by shuttle-bus.

Patients who require hospitalization are seen in the hospital by ATC attending physicians on a rotating basis. Hospital care is also provided by AMC residents and medical students in a carefully supervised fashion. Attending physicians see and examine patients each day and offer family counseling as needed.

Mid-Hudson Care Center, Kingston
The Mid-Hudson Care Center (MHCC), conveniently located in Kingston, NY, is a state-licensed treatment facility dedicated to providing primary care to individuals who are infected with HIV. The clinic has been in operation since January 1990 and is formally affiliated with and operated by Albany Medical Center. The clinic serves the medical needs of people who are HIV-infected who reside in the Mid-Hudson valley.

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Services

Every Thursday Noon - 4:30 p.m. Screening, Treatment and Prevention.
To schedule your appointment, please call  (518) 262-4043.

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Substance Abuse Services

Substance use services are available to assist patients who are either at risk for substance use or currently have active substance abuse issues. In addition to issues related to drug and alcohol use, our Substance Use Specialist provides smoking cessation counseling by utilizing a harm reduction model. Our Substance Use Specialist works in consultation with all members of the health care team to:

  • Assess substance use
  • Provide counseling
  • Make treatment program referrals as appropriate
  • Follow-up with patients to assure complete continuity in their care

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Volunteer Program

Volunteers contribute significantly to our performance as a designated HIV treatment center and we rely on our volunteers to enhance the delivery of services to our clients. Due to the multitude of services we provide, there are many opportunities available for dedicated individuals to assist us in providing continued excellence in patient care.

Our volunteer mission is for ongoing excellence in service to the HIV community, as well as a guarantee that our volunteers will be satisfied in the work they perform. Volunteers can help in the following areas:

  • Clinic hospitality
  • Clinic information/resources
  • Clerical/administrative assistance
  • Education Department duties
  • Morale Committee assistance

We invite you to join us in a very rewarding volunteer experience. For more information, please contact the volunteer office by calling (518) 262-3491.

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