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  • Author: Amir
  • Date Submitted: Jun 20, 2023
  • Category: General

The switch to virtual health services and telehealth have been beneficial to many patients, but a challenge for others. Amir, a 23-year-old gay man, struggled to adapt to telehealth and video calls when COVID-19 moved many services online. Despite Apicha CHC staff’s efforts to help its clients navigate and understand telehealth, Amir was still having difficulty communicating with their care coordinator during virtual appointments.

For Amir, that challenge was part of a bigger concern. Amir urgently needed to speak with Apicha CHC staff because mold started growing in his apartment, making his home environment both unsafe and unhealthy. This was causing Amir so much distress that he started to forget to take his HIV medication. Amir’s care coordinator assessed the situation and arranged for Amir to come to Apicha CHC for an in-person session. Staff screened Amir for COVID-19 and made sure that he had proper PPE before meeting with his care coordinator. When he arrived at the clinic, Apicha staff took the time to educate Amir on the importance of taking HIV medication to ensure viral load suppression.

Apicha also connected Amir with a housing assistance program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Amir’s case manager found him a new apartment in Brooklyn and accompanied him there to check that the building and area were safe. A week later, Amir was comfortably living in his new, clean apartment and went back to taking his medication regularly.