The overall goal of the RAPID (Rapid ART Program Initiative for HIV Diagnoses) program is to create a set of “hubs” around the city where persons newly diagnosed with HIV (or out of care) can rapidly access antiretroviral therapy (ART) and have a smooth transition to their medical home. In order to accomplish this goal, a RAPID steering committee established hub locations, standard operating procedure (SOP) for ART start, and SOP for transition to a primary medical home. The committee works with SF Department of Public Health surveillance (now “ARCHES”) to track the uptake and outcomes of persons participating in the program. We build on the existing LINCS programs at SFDPH to create and support hubs for rapid initiation of ART to individuals.
We start ART:
Within 48 hours –
- If acute/early infection (recent negative Ab test, RNA+/Ab– or recent symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome) or
- Evidence of advanced infection (opportunistic infection or a CD4 count of less than 200)
Within 5 days –
- All other newly HIV-diagnosed persons
The program aims to provide ART for up to 5 days for these individuals until they are transitioned into their medical home.