TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2019 /CNW/ - This month, Casey House is launching an innovative peer program to further support those living with HIV/AIDS. Casey House, which opened in 1988 as Canada's first stand-alone treatment facility for people living with HIV and AIDS, has evolved into a unique and innovative hospital with primarily outpatient programming.
Casey House is launching the peer program on evidence of the need to support inpatient clients after discharge. The program matches individuals who have lived experience of HIV with Casey House clients who could benefit from additional support. The first set of peers will be trained and ready to start working with inpatient and day health program clients next month.
"One-on-one support has immeasurable benefits for people living with HIV/AIDS. The personal support goes beyond a traditional support system and helps them adjust to their new reality and make meaningful connections with individuals who have been in their position," said Andre Ceranto, Casey House's peer program manager.
The peer program will complement the work of Casey House's interdisciplinary health care team, made up of doctors, nurses, social workers and other clinicians. Peers will work directly with an assigned client to support different aspects of living with HIV, such as having to adhere to a strict daily regimen of medications.
Additionally, Casey House's peer program aims to improve client attendance at medical appointments, improve rates of adherence to medications, and improve quality of life through reduced social isolation.
The unique program is supported by ViiV Healthcare, the only global pharmaceutical company whose exclusive mandate is to advance HIV science. ViiV is able to fund the program through its community grants program.
"Support from an organization like ViiV has been vital in enabling us to run this program and help improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS," Ceranto said.
Over the years, Casey House has embarked on a number of innovative programs to improve the quality of life for HIV positive individuals. They are also behind #smashstigma which launched Healing House, the world's first HIV+ spa, in November 2018.
"We're very eager to launch this program and see how each individual involved will benefit from one-on-one support," Ceranto concluded.
Casey House is Ontario's HIV/AIDS hospital. Opened in 1988 as Canada's first stand-alone treatment facility for people living with HIV/AIDS, it has evolved into a hospital with primarily outpatient programming. Through their innovative and comprehensive approach to health care, they remain one of the few places where people with HIV can seek care without judgment. More than a place that saves lives, they are a place that speaks up, shines understanding through compassion, and empowers clients to get better.
SOURCE Casey House Foundation
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