Florida Family AIDS Network (FAN)
Family AIDS Network is a Ryan White Care Act Title IV funded program administered
by the University of South Florida, College of Public Health through the
Florida Health Information Center.
Florida Family AIDS Network has successfully coordinated comprehensive
HIV/AIDS medical and social support services primarily serving communities
of color for nearly 12 years spanning a five county area. Since its inception,
FAN has served over 1,500 women, infants, children, youth and families
infected with or affected by HIV disease.
goals of Ryan
White Care Act Title IV programs
- to foster the development
and support of comprehensive care infrastructures, including primary
care, that increase access to culturally competent, family-centered,
community-based coordinated care;
- to emphasize prevention within
the comprehensive care system in order to reduce the spread of HIV-infection
to vulnerable populations; and
- to link comprehensive systems
of care with HIV/AIDS clinical trials and other research activities,
increasing access for children, youth, women and their families.
Family AIDS Network (FAN) in Central and Southwest Florida pursues a vision
to serve children and families who are infected and affected with HIV,
through a family-centered, coordinated, community-based comprehensive
system of care which includes medical care, case management, clinical
trials, as well as by educating public and professionals about HIV/AIDS.
The Perinatal HIV Program is a key initiative of the FAN program in terms
of addressing the Ryan White Title IV program goal of reducing perinatal
HIV transmission. The Perinatal HIV Prevention Program's primary goal
is to prevent and decrease vertical transmission of HIV in newborns. The
target population for early intervention and treatment is HIV-positive
pregnant women. Early detection and treatment of HIV disease can help
women significantly reduce the chances of having an HIV-infected newborn.
In addition, with new and emerging combination therapies, women have more
treatment options during their pregnancy. This program component ensures
that pregnant women are counseled, tested and advised on the benefits
of AZT therapy and antiretrovirals during pregnancy, childbirth, and early
infancy. Additional services provided include medical care, support services
and social and financial referrals. Outcome: The success of this initiative
is demonstrated by the significant decrease in the number of women enrolled
in this program who gave birth to non-infected newborns in this past year
to less than five percent.
Adolescent specific services are critical to identifying and serving youth.
FAN is embracing peer-education and mentoring activities with existing
community providers to reach this vulnerable population. Expanded adolescent
initiatives include advocacy activities on a local, state and national
level. Title IV efforts increasingly have emphasized the importance of
targeting adolescents, thus one of our main foci is to engage and identify
at-risk teens for counseling and testing. The primary goal is to prevent
primary or secondary infections and bring HIV-positive adolescents into
a comprehensive system of care as well as provide opportunity to participate
in clinical care and trials. To accomplish this goal, we have incorporated
a mentorship and peer-education program component.
Counseling & Testing
FAN conducts community-based and on-site Pre & Post Counseling and Testing
services aimed at identifying new HIV/AIDS cases. This activity is commonly
known as "case finding" and is a key prevention and early intervention strategy
for reducing primary and secondary HIV-infections. The testing method used
is the Orasure (mouth swab) procedure which is highly effective, quick,
easily administered and non-invasive. Approximately 400 tests were administered
by our trained testing specialists in 2003 and four new clients were identified.
Case management is the cornerstone of FAN's program and is the hub for
brokering, coordinating and arranging comprehensive services for HIV-infected
and affected children and families. Case
managers are the resource guides
for families and assist them in gaining access to current information,
referrals and services. Currently, FAN has 600 families enrolled in case
management services across five counties.
One of the priorities of the Ryan White Title IV, and the Florida Family
AIDS Network programs has been to advocate for HIV-infected consumers.
This advocacy has been conducted through HIV-positive staff members in
their roles as Consumer
Advocates. The Consumer Advocates
meet other HIV-infected individuals, and newly diagnosed persons in order
to offer support, to introduce them to the services, treatment and clinical
trial options available in the community, and to help teach them to navigate
the systems of care. In addition, these advocates educate legislators
about the changing picture of HIV/AIDS. Positive
Education, Inc. has implemented TASK - The AIDS Survival Kit - to teach
newly diagnosed and persons with HIV/AIDS to live successfully with the
American Children Initiative/Minority
This program component provides emotional and psychosocial support tailored
for African American women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, in order
to enhance the utilization of existing services. The Family
Support Coordinator, a trained professional
with a Master's in Social Work (MSEd), assists minority families of African-American
and Latino heritage in achieving optimum family functioning through family
assessments, referrals, coordination of necessary support services such
as specialized parent education, and clinical care workshops/seminars
through community providers.
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