Early Intervention Services (EIS) — an intervention designed to assist those newly diagnosed as HIV-positive access medical care and programs to address a variety of social issues including substance abuse, homelessness and underinsurance. The program is also in place to assist those who have fallen out of care reconnect and re-engage with medical care and increase positive health outcomes.
In Care — state and federal health officials define a person as being in medical care if they have had at least two CD4 and viral load tests in the past year.
Out of Care — state and federal health officials define a person as being out of medical if they have not had at least two CD4 and viral load tests in the past year.
CD4 — this is a specific cell in the immune system that HIV invades and takes over. A normal range for CD4s is 400 – 1200. A person who has a CD4 count of 200 or less has attained HIV Disease Stage 3, which was formerly known as AIDS.
Viral Load – this is a measure of free viral particles in the blood stream. Most clinics in Michigan use a test that can detect as few as 28 viral particles per milliliter of blood. Anything less than that is considered “undetectable.” For federal purposes, a viral load measure of less than 200 viral particles per milliliter of blood is considered “undetectable.”
Undetectable — this means that while a person has HIV, the virus is controlled by medications. The CDC has recently announced that persons with an undetectable viral load are unable to sexually transmit their infection.
Treatment as Prevention (TasP) — knowing that an undetectable viral load means a person is unable to sexually transmit the virus, health officials have begun classifying treatment with antiretroviral medications as a form of prevention.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — By taking a specific anti-HIV drug called Truvada daily, a person who is HIV-negative is able to prevent becoming infected with the virus. The intervention is considered to be as much as 99 percent effective in preventing HIV acquisition in HIV-negative persons.
U=U — This is a new public relations campaign designed by persons living with HIV to promote the scientific evidence that an undetectable viral load means a person is unable to sexually transmit the virus. It stand for Undetectable equals Uninfectious. Michigan was one of the very first health departments in the country to adopt this messaging officially.
Editor’s Note: The term AIDS is no longer a recognized medical term. As a result, it will only be used in this report in reference to history or events, such as World AIDS Day. The CDC, the World Health Organization and other leading health agencies have shifted in the last five years to using HIV Disease as a label for all related disease progression of HIV. It stages the infection’s progress in three stages. Stage one is the initial infection stage. Stage two is the time period when a person is mostly healthy but the virus is doing unseen damage to the immune system. While Stage three is the point where the immune system has been so damaged it allows for a person to become sick with opportunistic infections. Once a person has reached stage three, they will remain listed in that stage for the remainder of their life, regardless of improvements to their immune system.