Friday, May 9, 2008

Random Thursdays - Great Stuff

This morning I made the drive from Brooklyn to the Bronx for a press conference for Project B.R.I.E.F.

A few weeks ago I learned about a group called Project B.R.I.E.F., actually what happened is that a friend of mine works there and asked me if I'd like to design their website. I took the project on and drove up to the Jacobi Medical Center to meet with their team and learn a bit about what they do.

Project B.R.I.E.F is an incredible concept. A few years ago a doctor by the name of Dr. Jason Leider, as the Director of Adult HIV Services, noticed that the majority of his patients were developing full blown AIDS within one year of HIV diagnosis. At the same time Dr. Yvette Calderon, Director of Urgent Care, knew that many of her patients used the ER for their primary care needs and these patients did not have a lot of access to health education. Together Drs. Leider and Calderon came up with an innovative system that offers HIV testing to EVERY patient that comes into the emergency room. Amazingly 85% of the patients opt to take the test and so far Project B.R.I.E.F. has tested over 11,000 people.

If you have ever been in an ER, you know it is a chaotic place. Can you imagine any hospital fitting HIV testing into their day to day routine, for every patient?

Well, Project B.R.I.E.F. definitely uncomplicates the process. Patients come in, and with the use of computer tablets, fill out a questionnaire and watch a few videos about testing and prevention. A counselor is there to answer any questions and guide them through the process. The test is actually an oral swab called a Rapid Oral Test, with results available in 20 minutes. It is all in all a simple procedure and what is so fantastic about it, is that this process is quick and very private.

What an amazing idea, brought to life and actually changing the lives of people. The sooner people know their status, the sooner they can get adequate care and hopefully maintain a good quality of life.

For me, as I am sure for many others, I didn't realize what a prevalent problem HIV and AIDS still is. I'm not sure why we forget, there is still a lot of attention on it but if you are not seeing how it affects communities and individuals first hand, somehow it seems to disappear into the background.

Thanks to Project B.R.I.E.F. for increasing my awareness and letting me be a tiny part of such a great thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You designed the Project Brief website? Awesome!