Our very own Dr. Asceline Go recently passed the 2015 AAHIVM HIV Pharmacist / HIV Specialist, and HIV Expert Credentialing examination.
What’s that? Well, according to the American Academy of HIV Medicine website: The Academy’s program is the only widely recognized, statistically sound and defensible measurement program available in HIV-focused medical care. On average, about 2,000 providers are actively maintaining an AAHIVM credential, a majority of which principally identify as an HIV provider. In 2015, most US HIV-positive patients are now under the care of an Academy-certified provider.
Many providers may already serve patients with HIV. So why go through the extensive testing process? Dr. Donna Sweet writes about it on the website:
We live in an increasingly complex health care environment that demands that we keep up with its rapid evolution. Treating HIV is not the same as it was 25 years ago, as many HIV care veterans know. Breakthroughs in treatment and care that combat HIV and extend life are often followed by perplexing trends, drug interactions and trends in new toxicities and drug interactions. Social and cultural responses to HIV have a direct impact on both our HIV-positive and negative patients. This in turn affects how we provide — and how our patients receive — HIV care and treatment, as well as our messages of wellness, risk reduction and prevention. Increased life expectancy for people living with HIV has presented a growing list of issues that includes: treatment adherence, hepatitis B/C co-infection, cardiovascular disease, and more. The definition of quality HIV care, then, must necessarily evolve as people live longer with the disease. It also must integrate the complexities of HIV with health risk factors typically associated with the normal aging process.
Becoming an Academy-credentialed HIV Specialist™ is a way to remain current, demonstrate frontline experience, and evolve with changes in HIV technology, with discoveries of new treatments and with shifts in the nation’s health care system. The AAHIVM HIV Specialist™ credential demonstrates to patients, colleagues, employers and third party payers a care provider’s commitment to maintaining continuing competency through ongoing learning, experience and self-assessment.
Becoming credentialed through a process like the Academy’s program demonstrates to the medical community-at-large that we as HIV care providers voluntarily seek to establish for ourselves a rigorous, uniform national standard for the knowledge and experience base expected of all practitioners serving on HIV care teams. Developing a universal assessment tool of HIV knowledge for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists also helps reduce barriers to entry into this specialized area of care. The AAHIVM HIV Specialist™ designation is available to health care professionals from diverse health care settings, educational backgrounds and front line care experience. Credentialing improves our professional development, benefits our patients’ care, and provides a foundation for the creation of better treatment and care access opportunities.