One of the first of its kind, the Golden Compass clinic specializes in geriatric care and HIV. It opened earlier this year, and already people are expressing the need to open similar clinics across the nation, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.
The clinic is part of San Francisco Hospital’s Ward 86, which has catered to people with HIV since the epidemic began. Today, the newspaper reports, 1,600 of the 2,500 patients at the ward are 50 or older and many are long-term survivors who have been living with HIV for more than two decades. Because aging with HIV comes with its own set of challenges and questions—for example, are some symptoms related to the virus or to aging?—a unique clinic is needed.
The clinic offers specialists in aging as well as HIV, spanning cardiology, bone health, diabetes, cognitive issues and much more. Mental health and social support are stressed, as many clients experience the health effects of social isolation.
And because it’s not uncommon for older people with HIV to be on as many as 20 drugs—treating everything from HIV to high blood pressure—a pharmacist at the clinic reviews prescriptions for potential drug interactions or other problems.
The clinic opened with $100,000 from AIDS Walk, which recently committed another $75,000, the Chronicle reports, but Golden Compass hopes to secure permanent funding from the city.