HIV Malignancy Program

History

 

The LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans (LSUHSC-NO) has a long-standing history of providing care to HIV-infected patients, including indigent patients, since the beginning of the epidemic in the 1980s. LSUHSC-NO, including the existing Interim LSU Public Hospital (formerly the New Orleans Charity Hospital) and the LSU HIV Outpatient (HOP) Clinic, was one of the first academic institutions nationwide to provide comprehensive medical care and support services for HIV patients, and to support HIV-related research. The HOP Clinic has supported NIH- and foundation-based research for over 20 years, including studies related to sexually transmitted diseases and ocular complications of AIDS. 

As the medical home for approximately 3,000 HIV-infected patients and with the availibility of a number of sub-specialty services on site, including oncology, endocrinology, oral health, gynecology, pain management and others, the HOP Clinic currently serves as the medical home for HIV patients with cancer in the LSUHSC-NO system. Long-standing relationships between LSUHSC-NO and other HIV medical homes in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and surrounding areas, including the New Orleans AIDS Task Force (NOATF; home to approximately 1,300 patients), provide a basis for referrals from these clinics to LSUHSC-NO for HIV patients with cancer. Having recently been appointed by the NIH in 2012 as an official site for the AIDS Malignancies Consortium (AMC), the only site designated on the Gulf Coast, LSUHSC now offers enrollment for HIV patients with aggressive cancers in NIH-funded cooperative clinical trials for treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphoma, cervical cancer, and other tumors. Patients referred to this program are linked to a cancer-focused patient "navigator" to assist with establishment of funding and coordination of care for HIV-related medications, cancer diagnostics and therapy. Resources are also provided for transportation, lodging (referrals outside of New Orleans), and other services based on need. These resources provide a critical unmet need for HIV patients in the Southeast region, and Louisiana in particular, as New Orleans and Baton Rouge have among the highest HIV incidence and prevalence rates per capita in the U.S. Moreover, approximately 70% of these patients represent minority groups at greatest risk for poor outcomes for a number of HIV-associated cancers.