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The Making of Medicine

Improving HIV Care Across America

Our Kathleen McManus, MD, MS, has received almost $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to improve HIV care for people across the country.

Dr. McManus' ambitious effort aims to determine best practices to increase the number of people who can keep the HIV virus in their blood at undetectable levels, a state sometimes called "sustained viral suppression." This is associated with better health outcomes for the people living with HIV and significantly reduced chances they could transmit the virus to others.

To make this happen, Dr. McManus and her collaborators will examine state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) to identify disparities in viral suppression among states and among different groups. These important programs serve more than a quarter of people with HIV in the United States, providing essential HIV medications either for free or by subsidizing insurance plans.

One of the researchers' goals is to understand how ADAPs help with health equity and ensure that different groups, including patients of different races or ethnicities, get high-quality care and the best possible health outcomes.

By determining which programs and policies are most effective, the researchers will provide valuable information for government leaders and other decision-makers, so that the most successful approaches can be adopted widely.

"State ADAPs implement the program differently and also achieve different rates of good health outcomes. We will help to identify best practices so that state ADAPs can adapt policies and practices that are associated with success,” Dr. McManus said. “This project will transform data into action, and we are so fortunate to have built a strong, interdisciplinary team that will collaborate with state health departments to measure the impact of ADAPs and, ultimately, to help improve HIV care across the United States.”

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