The American Academy of HIV Medicine has re-certified Dr. Gary Brewton as an HIV Specialist™ — making Dr. Brewton one of only approximately 2,000 providers world-wide who have an active credential in HIV treatment from this organization.
The American Academy of HIV Medicine began offering its certification programs back in 2002. At the time, a group of HIV care providers decided to form an organization that would allow education and sharing of best practices for improving HIV care deliver. Fortunately, HIV treatment has improved dramatically since the identification of the disease, yet the treatment is complex and often changing as new drugs are introduced which prolong life but may result in new toxicities and drug interactions over time.
The purpose of the HIV Specialist Credentialing program is to certify that clinicians can:
- Communicate up-to-date core knowledge HIV care to patients, colleagues, employers, governments and third-party payers.
- Provide a uniform national standard for HIV care.
- Protect the healthcare consumer by creating a publicly identifiable professional standard of HIV care, which is awarded by an objective, transparent process and can be readily identified by a provider’s AAHIVS, AAHIVE or AAHIVP titling.
- Promote professional visibility of providers working in HIV care.
- Support efforts to reform current reimbursement structures for specialized HIV care by creating a mechanism to determine the validity of expertise among a aggregate population of certified providers.
It is estimated that more than 1.2 people in the U.S. are living with HIV infection. Nearly 13 percent are undiagnosed and unaware of their status. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 50,000 new HIV infections each year. MSM (men who have sex with men) are particularly at risk for HIV infection, particularly in the African American MSM population.
Among different ethnic groups, African Americans are experiencing a disproportionate rate of HIV infection. According to the CDC, this group accounts for 44% of new HIV infections but only represent 12% of the population in the US. Hispanics/Latinos are also contracting HIV infection at a higher rate than the population at large. For comparison purposes Latino males have a new HIV infection rate that in 2.9 times greater than white males, and Latina women have a 4.2 times higher rate than white females.
If you don’t know your HIV status, we encourage you to come into the office to get tested. We also offer counseling for patients who are at risk of contracting HIV, such as those in the MSM community or those who are partners are HIV positive. (See also our section on PrEP for information on long-term prophylactic treatment than has been shown to reduce HIV infection for HIV negative individuals.)