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The Johns Hopkins HIV Women's Health Program
The Johns Hopkins HIV Women's Health Program was established in 1988, providing reproductive health care for nearly 3,000 HIV-infected women. Our goal is to offer community based, culturally sensitive, coordinated and flexible care to women with HIV infection.
The program offers a full range of reproductive and comprehensive health services that address the special needs of women with HIV including:
- Obstetrical care, including antiretroviral therapy to reduce mother to child transmission or HIV
- Comprehensive gynecologic care
- HIV counseling, testing and referral to HIV services
- Community outreach
Women infected with HIV have unique reproductive health needs that require knowledge and expertise specific to HIV and AIDS. AIDS is the leading cause of death in young, African American women, 25-34 years of age and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States for all women aged 25-34. (CDC HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet, August 2008). Women now represent 25% of all new HIV/AIDS cases nationally and 37% in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
HIV disproportionately impacts minorities in the United States. Learn some of the local and national statistics:
- African American and Latinos, who comprise 25% of the nation's population, represented 62% of all new infections in 2006.
- In Maryland, African Americans represent 79% of all new infections in 2007.
- Among adolescent and adult women, heterosexual transmission is now the leading mode of HIV acquisition, accounting for over 80% of all new infections. (CDC, 2006)
- Heterosexual transmission accounted for 37% of all new infections in 2007 in Maryland with women accounting for 72% of those infections.
Certain prevention challenges are unique to women. Biologic differences of women, including the susceptibility of the vaginal lining to sexually transmitted infection and hormonal changes, mother to child HIV transmission; and social inequalities in relationships with male partners, contribute to prevention efforts, the need for increased intervention efforts, and reproductive health care, by programs specifically designed to assist women.
Obstetrical care (Halo Program): The Halo Program offers a full range of services to HIV infected women during pregnancy, including obstetrical and primary HIV care. Services are provided by a small group of obstetricians, who are experienced in the use of HIV medications in pregnancy for maternal treatment and for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, as well as in the care for high risk pregnancies. In addition, nursing case management, peer support throughout pregnancy, social services and the opportunity to engage in support groups with women facing similar challenges are available. After delivery, patients are referred to medical providers specializing in HIV management for both mother and infant to establish ongoing healthcare, if needed.
Comprehensive Gynecologic Services: Services are provided by two physicians and a physician assistant experienced in the reproductive health needs of HIV infected women. Services are broad based and available on site in the Johns Hopkins Adult HIV Clinic on the main medical campus and offsite at the Johns Hopkins Gynecologic office at Green Spring Station.
- Annual gynecologic exams
- Routine Pap smears
- Evaluation and treatment of abnormal Pap smears
- Treatment of genital tract infections
- Evaluation and treatment of abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Evaluation and management of other gynecologic problems
- Family planning and preconception care
- Access to individual peer counseling and support groups for women
- Access to HIV testing for partners
No one is turned away because of lack of funds. This program is funded through the Congressional Ryan White Care Act Title I, II and IV Programs. The program staff, most of whom are women, have many years experience working with HIV positive women and share a long-term commitment to this work, with respect and deep concern for those affected by the HIV epidemic.
HIV Counseling and Referral Service: HIV counseling and testing is offered to all obstetric registrants at Johns Hopkins and free HIV rapid testing is available to their partners through the Johns Hopkins HIV Women's Health Program. In addition, HIV testing and counseling is offered in various settings through community outreach, in partnership with community-based organizations and churches. Pre-and-post testing counseling, including prevention advice, is provided by HIV counselors in a non-judgmental manner and individualized based on test results and patient needs.
Those who are identified as HIV infected are enrolled into an outreach program to assist them in coping with their diagnosis and obtaining appropriate health care. The outreach staff will assist HIV infected patients with access to health and social services available to HIV infected individuals in Baltimore and the surrounding counties.
Other Outreach Services: Outreach staff is available to provide education and presentations on HIV, including prevention messages, to groups in the community. They can be reached at 410-614-3023.
Jean Anderson, MD
Jean Keller, PAC
Clinical HIV GYN Specialists
- Jean Anderson, M.D.
- Cynthia Argani, M.D.
- Jean Keller, PAC
- Lorraine Milio, M.D.
- Jenell Coleman, M.D., MPH
Nursing Manager-Outreach Supervisor
- Eileen Sheridan-Malone, RN
- Robin Adams
- Altricia Belk
- Menna Girma
- Sabrina McCray
- Rosemary Ramroop
- Johns Hopkins HIV Women's Program Administrative Office
- Adult HIV Clinic (Moore Clinic)
- Green Spring Station
- Perinatal (HALO)
- Counseling and testing information