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LSU HIV Outpatient Clinic Achieves 25 Years of Healthcare, Training and Research

LSU HIV Outpatient Program, 2235 Poydras St., New Orleans
LSU HIV Outpatient Program, 2235 Poydras St., New Orleans

New Orleans The Interim LSU Public Hospital HIV Outpatient Program observed its 25th anniversary with an Open House at its new location, 2235 Poydras Street, in New Orleans, on May 11.

The LSU HIV Outpatient Program is one of the best in the nation. With an emphasis on comprehensive healthcare, education, research, and specialty training, the program provides a "one-stop shop" option for people living with HIV infection. It also targets disease prevention, health promotion and support and coordination for affected significant others.

When HOP opened its doors in 1987, it was a national model of a comprehensive system of HIV/AIDS healthcare, with a patient population of more than 100. Today, it remains nationally recognized, has more than 2,000 patients and is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS healthcare in the region.

HOP has an expansive shared waiting area.
HOP has an expansive shared waiting area.

"HOP is part of the quality healthcare LSU provides to greater New Orleans," said Dr. Lynn Besch, Director of HOP. "Its ongoing success, which includes nearly all aspects of healthcare, is indicative of the high level of LSU healthcare overall."

In HOP's "one-stop shop" option for HIV care, patients have access to an on-site multidisciplinary medical staff trained specifically in HIV/AIDS for primary care, dentistry, gynecology, ophthalmology, psychiatry, pulmonology, pain management and pediatrics.

Staff provides a wide array of services.
Staff provides a wide array of services.

HOP patients also have access on-site to social services, mental health counseling, medication assistance, pharmaceutical consultation, nutrition counseling, phlebotomy, health education and adherence counseling. Research and administrative personnel complement the clinical staff.

In June of 2011, HOP moved from 136 S. Roman Street to 25,000 square feet of newly renovated space at 2235 Poydras Street, near the corner of S. Galvez Street, to make way for the impending construction of the new University Medical Center. Now less than three blocks from the Interim LSU Public Hospital, formerly known as University Hospital, HOP opened its doors to patients on June 20. Designed with the help of HOP staff and patients to ensure a functional and comfortable clinic space, HOP's new location has 16 exam rooms, a dental clinic with five operatories, an eye clinic, meeting rooms, a nutrition classroom and a shared waiting area in the lobby.

Banner commemorates 25th anniversary.
Banner commemorates 25th anniversary.

HOP participates in adult, adolescent and pediatric clinical trials, including the NIH-sponsored Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Unit and INSIGHT, an international HIV clinical trials program also sponsored by the NIH. HOP researchers also investigate new medications, sexually transmitted infections and topical microbicides, and the risk for specific conditions, such as cervical cancer, oral HPV infection and oral pharyngeal candidiasis.

HOP continues its investigation of the ocular complications of AIDS. Supported by the National Eye Institute, the study is well into its second decade.

The Delta Region AIDS Education and Training Center, co-located with the HOP Clinic, educates healthcare teams throughout Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi on the rapidly-changing standards of HIV/AIDS care through the use of didactic presentations, skills building workshops, clinical training, educational clinical consultation and technical assistance.

Slide show highlighted HOP history.
Slide show highlighted HOP history.

Since the founding of the HOP Clinic 25 years ago, its patients have gone from dying from AIDS to living for decades with HIV. The HOP Clinic has evolved over time to address the ever changing landscape of HIV care and treatment options. Today, with appropriate and timely care, most importantly antiretroviral medication, patients with HIV infection can manage their health and live productive lives.

7,180 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James and St. John parishes, according to the Louisiana HIV/AIDS Surveillance Quarterly Report released in December 2011.

The Open House featured light refreshments, a health fair and nutrition and pharmaceutical information. Learn more about the program at www.hopclinic.org.