The Coastal Health District’s HIV Program provides comprehensive outpatient primary care (including nutritional services and oral health) and case management to persons with HIV/AIDS. Every county health department provides free, walk-in HIV testing, and the Coastal Health District has three HIV Program centers for expanded services.
Clients benefit from a wide spectrum of programs and services, including primary medical care and labs, centralized case management, oral health services, ID consultant services, radiology (by referral), retinology consultant services, medication dispensing/pharmacy, mental health counseling, nutritional assessment/counseling -BIA testing, partner counseling and referral services, legal assistance, and transportation assistance (contract).
The Coastal Health District’s HIV Clinic treats any HIV positive client over age 12, including those who have a CDC-defined AIDS diagnosis. Supportive services for clients such as hospice care, emergency financial assistance, food and food vouchers, housing assistance, support groups, etc. are available by referral with various community providers/partners.
Enrollment into the HIV Program requires an advance appointment. Providers are asked to schedule intake appointments as far in advance as possible and to provide medical records when available. Clients are assessed by the case manager and then are scheduled for primary care intake. Clients should bring the following when possible:
1. Medical history, i.e. medical records with detailed history of medications
2. Proof of seropositivity (required, test drawn at intake if unavailable)
3. Current CD4 count and viral load (preferred, not required)
4. Current PPD status and treatment history (preferred, not required)
5. Proof of income (mandatory for services) Paycheck stubs, SSI letters, etc. If no income, be prepared to provide statement as to how living expenses being met, i.e. family support, etc. and the intake case manager can do a notarized affidavit of poverty.
6. Proof of residency (paycheck stubs, SSI letters, utility bills)
7. Identification (driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, prison ID)
Clinic provides comprehensive medical care for chronic medical problems in addition to HIV. Subspecialty care is arranged by referral if needed. Eligible clients are enrolled in ADAP for HIV medications as indicated.
Care is provided on a sliding fee scale based on household income. No one is denied services due to an inability to pay. Medicaid and Medicare and some private insurances are accepted.
Centralized case management is provided in the program. The case manager will complete the initial psychosocial assessment upon referral to the program and schedule the primary care intake appointment. Clients are assigned to a case manager who is knowledgeable about all of the HIV services available in the community and the referral process for each.
HIV Testing Sites:
HIV testing is available at your county health department in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden Counties, and in the cities of Pembroke, Richmond Hill, Savannah, Springfield, Hinesville, Ludowici, Darien, Brunswick and St. Mary’s.
Coastal Health District HIV Program Sites:
107 B Fahm St., Savannah, GA 31401
2747 4th St., Brunswick, GA 31520
1113 East Oglethorpe Highway, Hinesville, GA 31313
In Savannah, testing is also available at these locations:
– Curtis V. Cooper Primary Care Center
2 Roberts St., Savannah, 912-527-1100
106 E. Broad St., Savannah, 912-527-1000
– Savannah State University
Counseling Center, Savannah, 912-358-23129
– Phoenix Project of Union Mission
520 E. 34th St., Savannah, 912-231-1971
– J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center
120 Fahm St., Savannah, 912-927-5271
HIV treatment is prevention. Those living with HIV who get into care and stay in care can prevent sexual transmission of HIV and improve their own health. Step one: Get tested and know your status.
The Georgia Department of Public Health has a HIV/STD Infoline that offers risk assessments and risk reduction counseling as well as information about testing, treatment, care and related services. The toll-free number is (800) 551-2728.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill contains two medicines that are also used to treat HIV. If you take PrEP and are exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from taking hold in your body.
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. But people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months.
Where Can I Get PrEP?
For more information on PrEP services offered through the Coastal Health District, please call 912-414-4962.