This September marks the 20th anniversary of MATEC-WI’s HIV Treaters Meetings. Serving as MATEC-WI’s signature program for HIV care providers in WI, Treaters Meetings are monthly meetings centered on the idea of creating a community of practice. And just as HIV treatment and care has evolved, so have the Treaters Meetings.
At first, social services were key to supporting those with late-stage HIV, and state meetings to discuss the care of people with HIV (PWH) was mostly attended by social service workers. With the discovery that triple antiretroviral therapy (ART) allowed PWH to live longer in spite of their infection, the focus shifted from social support to medical intervention, and those monthly meetings changed to a focus on antiretroviral therapy. As HIV care options and treatment guidelines rapidly developed and changed, care providers and practitioners wanted to have a meeting where prescribing practitioners from across WI, and particularly Milwaukee County, could attend and learn more about current issues in HIV care.
Today, meeting participants present on cases as interprofessional collaborative teams, with topics ranging from social supports to medical intervention to challenging patient cases to developments in HIV care and guidelines. During these presentations, other HIV care teams share their perspectives and thoughts on these challenging cases. Practitioners from all over WI join thanks to the integration of videoconferencing technologies too. Today, over 60 HIV care team members, operating all over Wisconsin, regularly attend Treaters Meetings. Attendees continue to learn and freely share with their colleagues, as well as gain insight on ever-changing issues in HIV prevention and care. It is MATEC-WI’s sincere hope that Treaters Meetings will continue to be a community of practice where all HIV practitioners feel welcome, valued, and heard. Thus, we encourage those involved with HIV care and treatment across Wisconsin to join the Treaters community as a way to share their thoughts and learn from their colleagues. Find out when the next Treaters Meeting is; we hope to see you there!
September 18, 2021 is National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD). This year’s theme is “Aging is a part of life. HIV doesn’t have to be!” HIV doesn’t age discriminate – older people can acquire HIV, and treatment options have made it possible for people with HIV (PWH) to live longer. Those 50 and older are the fastest growing population with HIV; an estimated 3.6 million people 50+ are living with HIV worldwide. It’s important to test for HIV and discuss PrEP, even for older adults. It’s equally important to focus on the complete health – including physical, mental, and emotional well-being – of those aging with HIV. Learn more about HIV and older adults. #NHAAD #EHE
Peter Havens, MD, MS, (he/him), is a professor of pediatrics – infectious diseases, at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Havens has been working to provide HIV care in WI since the late 1980s. He has faced a myriad of issues as HIV care has changed and developed over time, and has worked with countless providers throughout WI to enact change and improve standards of care. Dr. Havens expressed that while his activities, with the help of many others, have made an impact, it is critical that his fellow practitioners continue the partnerships so crucial to the success of these HIV efforts.
When WI showed a rapid increase in HIV infection amongst pregnant people, Dr. Havens partnered with his colleagues – Jim Vergeront at Wisconsin Department of Health Services ( WI DHS), Tom Schlenker a Milwaukee Department of Health, David Waters at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and Janice Hand at Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin – to develop a plan to care for the anticipated increase in children born with HIV throughout the state. Waters and Havens, along with Holly Frisby at WI DHS, crafted guidelines for the care of children with HIV. These guidelines would later be published and republished by WI DHS for over 10 years.
In 1994, when antiretrovirals were shown to reduce HIV transmission of pregnant women, Havens, Barbara Cuene – a nurse at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – and staff from the WI DHS HIV/AIDS program drove more than 5,000 miles all over WI, giving talks to practitioners to encourage routine HIV testing of pregnant people to treat pregnant people with HIV and help prevent childhood HIV. Since 2015, there have been no children born with perinatal HIV transmission. However, Dr. Havens states that the success of these HIV efforts and programs relies on crucial partnerships with fellow practitioners from all over WI. He encourages his colleagues to find out more about these programs like the WI DHS HIV/AIDS Program and MATEC-WI.
MATEC-WI Continues to Expand the HIV Primary Care Workforce in WI through Clinician Scholars Program
MATEC-WI’s HIV Clinician Scholars Program is an intensive, year-long training program that seeks to strengthen the HIV workforce in the United States’ Midwest by focusing on HIV treatment, care and prevention. Current and graduating Clinician Scholars have a lasting impact on HIV care in WI, gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality, patient-centered HIV care. That is why we would like to congratulate the 2020-2021 Clinician Scholar, Michael Potnek, DNP, on successfully completing the Clinician Scholars Program and give a warm welcome to Drs. Claudia Vicetti Miguel and Daniel Culhane who recently joined the 2021-2022 cohort!
Michael Potnek, DNP, successfully completed the Clinician Scholars program with over 101 training and clinical preceptorship hours – and during a pandemic nonetheless. Dr. Potnek is an internal medicine/gerontology nurse practitioner, and a true champion for HIV/HCV treatment and care at Outreach Community Health Centers in Milwaukee. He also recently engaged clinical leadership and MATEC-WI in developing a plan for building capacity to care for people with HIV.
Dr. Potnek said this about the MATEC Clinician Scholars Program: “I applied for the program because I wanted to be able to better serve my patients. This program not only gave me the foundational knowledge and experiential training to competently care for patients with HIV, it also provided me a link to a community of providers with a shared mission. Participation as a Clinician Scholar has not only enhanced my medical knowledge, but has also helped me better understand the historical and contemporary context of HIV, and appreciate the many people serving on the front lines to combat this chronic illness – with the goal that one day, as with HCV, HIV will no longer be a lifetime diagnosis. This program has shown me how far we’ve come as a medical community towards achieving this goal, and how close we are. It has been a true honor to participate as a Clinician Scholar, and a highlight of my professional career.
We would also like to give a warm welcome to Drs. Claudia Vicetti Miguel and Daniel Culhane, as the newest additions to the 2021-2022 cohort!
Dr. Vicetti Miguel’s goal for participating in the program is to build on her prior HIV training and increase her capacity to independently manage pediatric patients with HIV. As she intends to eventually teach and train other physicians in the field, she plans to create teaching materials for residents and fellows this year. She is also eager to establish new collegial relationships in WI and beyond. Dr. Vicetti Miguel stated, “As there are not very many pediatric HIV providers, being one can often be isolating. Having a group of experts that are not only familiar with the challenges and victories of the field, but who are also geographically near, makes me feel part of a community. The opportunity of having a real sense of belonging is what excites me the most about being in this program.”
Dr. Culhane’s goal for participating in this program is to gain the expertise to provide quality, patient-centered HIV care. To do this, he will be focusing on increasing his knowledge and capacity to provide HIV care and treatment along the status-neutral continuum. These efforts will also support Sixteenth Street Community Health Center‘s collaboration with MATEC-WI on the HIV Practice Transformation Project, aimed at system-level changes to improve HIV prevention and care health outcomes for patients and enhance team-based care. Dr. Culhane said, “I am excited to apply the hands-on experience and expertise I will gain through the program, especially as it overlaps with management of substance use disorders. I look forward to the valuable mentorship from experts in the field, and the opportunity to improve the health of our community by expanding the capacity to prevent and treat HIV infection.”
Join us in welcoming Drs. Vicetti Miguel and Culhane as they enter the Clinician Scholars Program and gain critical HIV knowledge, experience, and support. We also want to congratulate Dr. Potnek as he graduates the Clinician Scholars Program and continues to work to improve and expand HIV care capacity in Wisconsin. For more information on how to apply for the Clinician Scholars Program in the future, please email Amanda Wilkins, MATEC-WI Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GLAAD “State of Stigma” report finds ongoing stigma and misinformation about HIV in the United States.
- HHS study finds that Dolutegravir-based regimens result in sustained viral suppression, even with lower adherence and treatment interruptions.
- Johnson & Johnson announces experimental HIV vaccine fails first efficacy trial in Africa
- WI DHS urges vaccination as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine gained full FDA approval.
- WI DHS reports spread of COVID-19 remains very high in 56 counties.
- WI DHS continues to offer additional COVID-19 dose to immunocompromised people.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developing COVID-19 vaccination and testing rule for employers with 100 or more employees.
Hosted by St. Louis STI/HIV Prevention Training Center
Hosted by MATEC-IL
Hosted by MATEC-MN/IA