Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinic
Who is Ryan White?
At the age of 13 Ryan White was diagnosed with HIV after acquiring it from a blood transfusion. At that time little was known about HIV and HIV patients often faced many obstacles as well as prejudice. Both Ryan and his parents courageously fought the adversity related to his HIV status so he could get a job and even attend school. The Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act was enacted in 1990 in his honor. It provides medical care and essential support services to individuals with insufficient health care coverage or uninsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Read more about Ryan's Story.
About the HIV/AIDS Clinic
The Medical University of South Carolina HIV/AIDS clinic was started in September 1991. Community agencies came together to write a grant that provided services for Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties with Ryan White Care Act Funding. With support from the Medical University, this clinic was the first in the state to be devoted to providing HIV/AIDS care by Infectious Disease Specialists.
In 1991, MUSC Infectious Disease provided care to approximately 50 HIV/AIDS patients. Today the clinic serves over 1300 patients and continues to grow each year. Our current staff consists of Infectious Disease physicians, fellows, a physician assistant, nurses and social workers, to name a few.
- Medical Care
- Limited Transportation*
- Medication Assistance*
- Nutritional Supplements*
- Case Management
- Social Work Counseling
- Mental Health Counseling*
- Emergency Financial Assistance*
*For those that qualify
Keys to Successful Treatment
- Earlier Detection. HIV testing and counseling results in earlier treatment and safer sex practices by HIV+ individuals.
- Establish and develop a positive alliance with your medical doctors, nurses and social workers.
- Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) medications dramatically prolong life in HIV+ individuals.
- Take HAART medications regularly, 95 to 100% adherence (taking medications every day as directed) is the most important factor under a patient's control in successful anti-HIV treatment.
- Keep other health problems under control. Some conditions such as depression, Hepatitis C or substance dependence can complicate HAART medication and make adherence more difficult.
- Regular aerobic exercise along with a sensible diet can help decrease lipodystrophy, and other complications of HIV.
- Quit or reduce the use of cigarettes, recreational drugs and alcohol.
- Practice safer sex by using latex condoms. Even if your partner is HIV+ you can get a resistant strain of the virus or other STDs from another HIV+ individual.
New Patients and/or referrals or to make an appointment:
Valerie Assey, RN, MSN-843-792-7485
Resources for further HIV/AIDS Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Health Resources and Services Administration
- Lowcountry AIDS Services
- South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control