505.955.9454
info@southwestcare.org

Cutting Edge HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Testing, Treatment and Research for More Than 20 Years

Southwest Care Center prides itself on the quality and longevity of its specialty care services for individuals needing testing and/or treatment for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. We are the experts in our community on these conditions and through our Research Department are part of important national studies to cure and treat these diseases and others. This means we know of the most advanced therapies and can offer our patients the opportunity to be a part of clinical trials if they qualify. Specialty care was the first medical service offered at Southwest Care over 20 years ago, and we remain committed to our roots and to serving all patients impacted by these chronic conditions.

Our teams of compassionate physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other professionals work with each patient to create an individualized treatment plan tailored to his or her lifestyle and needs. When you get care at Southwest Care Center for HIV or Hepatitis C, you can rest assured that you are getting the highest quality treatment offered anywhere in the country.

For testing and treatment of HIV or Hepatitis C, please call and schedule and appointment (505) 988-8869.

We have created the opportunity for telemedicine visits.


Our Approach to Testing and Treatment for HIV/AIDS

Serving more than 1,000 patients annually, Southwest Care Center is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration – HIV/AIDS Bureau and the New Mexico Department of Health.

With two clinic locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and one offering specialty HIV care in Roswell through telemedicine, Southwest Care Center offers complete and comprehensive medical care to those affected by HIV/AIDS.

HIV Testing

Southwest Care Center provides free and confidential rapid HIV testing using the latest techniques, and we are able to provide you with results in just 15 minutes! The test is 99.7% accurate and is performed using a simple finger stick.

HIV Treatment

At Southwest Care Center, our medical services offer patients outstanding HIV specialty and primary care. Our compassionate, dedicated physicians and clinicians work with each patient to create individualized treatment plans tailored to his or her lifestyle and needs.

HIV Prevention/PrEP

Southwest Care Center offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) both of which can help prevent HIV infection. Truvada® is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines (the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system).

State-of-the-Art Hepatitis C Treatment, Prevention and Research

Southwest Care Center’s care coordinators, nurses, medical assistants, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists are specially trained in Hepatitis C (HCV) management, including the latest treatment [link to HCV treatment page] options, as well as ways to help patients find insurance coverage for medical care and high-cost medications.

Our HCV program offers cutting-edge research trials, the latest medications and the best care available in New Mexico. Southwest Care Center provides treatment for HCV in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Roswell.

Hepatitis C Testing

Southwest Care Center offers free and confidential rapid hepatitis C testing. Using the OraQuick® rapid antibody test, results are over 98% accurate and available in 20 minutes.

Hepatitis C Treatment

Southwest Care Center’s clinical staff is specially trained in hepatitis C (HCV) management. Our care coordinators, nurses, medical assistants, doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and pharmacists are trained in the latest treatment options.

STD Testing

Southwest Care Center offers confidential STD testing to our patients at each of our facilities.  Call to schedule an appointment.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

For New Patients: An Overview

Whether you are newly diagnosed or transferring care from another clinic, we want you to feel welcome and well-supported with Southwest Care Center.   We want you to know that you can live a long, healthy life with HIV and that you are not alone.

We have included below an overview of the process of starting care with us, including links to get to know our Santa Fe providers, our Albuquerque providers, the clinical services we provide, additional support services available and paying for care.

Confidentiality

Protecting the confidentiality of your medical information is important to us.  We maintain strict patient confidentiality regarding your diagnosis, care, and treatment.  This includes the way in which we communicate with you via phone and mail.

We also take steps to ensure that simply coming to your appointments does not reveal your HIV status.  Our clinic serves individuals with other medical conditions and needs.

Newly Diagnosed

If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, we will schedule you for an appointment at our clinic within one week or less of receiving the diagnosis.  You should bring any medical records that you have or contact information about how we can acquire your medical records.

Transfer of Care

For patients who have already been in treatment for HIV, but are new to Southwest Care Center, the first appointment is generally scheduled within one month of contacting us to request one.

Your First Appointment

Your first appointment will be approximately 60 to 90 minutes.  You should check in with the reception desk when you arrive at the clinic.   You will meet with a medical case manager, a nurse and provider — they will comprise your care team.

Your Medical Case Manager is an important member of your care team.  At your first visit, you will get an overview of the services and support they can provide.  One concern for many patients is the financial cost of treating HIV.  Your medical case manager will help you understand and navigate the programs that help to reduce the costs of paying for care. Southwest Care Center also offers a wide range of additional support services through the Ryan White Program, such as transportation assistance.

Clinic nursing staff are also a part of your visit.  The nurse will review what to expect and what is needed for future appointments.  They will be available to answer any questions you have about the first and any follow-up visits.  If any injections or immunizations are needed, the nurse will provide them.  The nursing staff is also available to provide educational and emotional support.

As part of your appointment, you will go to the lab, where blood will be drawn for several laboratory tests.  The results of these lab tests will help you and your provider develop the best plan to manage your HIV care so that you can get the virus under control and protect your health.

Your first follow-up visit will be two weeks after your initial appointment to discuss the lab results.  Follow-ups after that usually range from 3 to 6 months, based on your care team’s recommendations.

Finally, you will meet with your provider to discuss your diagnosis, clinical services we provide, and treatment options.  They can also address any concerns you have with informing sexual partners of your status and preventive measures your partners can take.

Paying for Care

Need Help?

If you do not have insurance or having trouble with out-of-pocket costs related to your care, please contact your medical case manager.

Most people living with HIV struggle with the cost of medical care and medications. The difficulty in completing paper and online applications to obtain public benefits and/or private insurance may discourage some patients from accessing ongoing healthcare.

Southwest Care Center has funding to assist uninsured and underinsured patients to access care.  Our Medical Case Managers (MCMs) are trained to help you enroll in benefit programs while you are at the clinic.

Medical Case Managers will check your eligibility for employer-sponsored insurance, Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance plans and subsidies, Medicaid, Medicare and VA benefits. Medical Case Managers will also look at your income to determine if you qualify for Ryan White-funded services and/or the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).

If you are eligible for Medical Case Management, your assigned Medical Case Manager will meet with you at least three times each year to discuss assistance that you may need to ensure that you are attending medical appointments regularly and to complete on-going Ryan White and ADAP re-certifications.

In addition to helping patients get health insurance, Medical Case Managers may also help you apply for copay assistance programs, food support, energy assistance, Department of Workforce Development programs/benefits, and provide referrals for housing and rental assistance.

Most insurance plans provide coverage for HIV-related care; however, out-of-pocket deductibles and coinsurance costs can be challenging.  Your assigned Medical Case Manager can provide assistance to help you find programs that will help with these costs.  Even if you are able to afford medication copays, you may be eligible to reduce your out-of-pocket medication expenses through manufacturer copay card programs. Our Medical Case Managers are available to help you get connected to this important resource.

Ryan White Coverage and Eligibility

Am I eligible for the Ryan White Program?

You are eligible for Ryan White coverage if you:

  • Are HIV positive
  • Have a household income under 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (pdf).
  • Are a New Mexico resident

How do I get coverage?

  • A Medical Case Manager will enroll you in the Ryan White Program if you are eligible.
  • If you ever lose your health insurance, please contact your Medical Case Manager or ask for the intake Case Manager immediately for assistance in obtaining other coverage. This is very important so you can continue to see your doctor and get your medications.

What does Ryan White cover?

The Ryan White Program covers the costs of medical care and support services for both uninsured and insured eligible individuals. If you are uninsured, the Ryan White Program will cover the primary charge for the service and you may be responsible for a small copay. If you are insured, the Ryan White Program will provide assistance with your copays, coinsurance and deductibles for eligible services.

Will I pay anything if I’m enrolled in Ryan White?

  • You may be responsible for a copay based on your individual income.
  • Please call us to update your income if it changes, so your copay amount is correct

Coverage

Medical Services Within HIV Clinic Ordered by HIV Provider:

  • HIV clinic visits with HIV medical provider
  • Labs: CD4 count and viral load, resistance testing; Other diagnostic labs, tests, procedures or imaging ordered by HIV medical provider (including ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, lung function tests, bone mineral density scans).
  • Cervical cancer screening: annual cervical pap smear in HIV clinic and referrals to Gynecology for follow-up for abnormal cervical paps, including repeat cervical paps, colposcopies, and biopsies (cervical cancer treatment not covered)
  • Anal cancer screening (anal cancer treatment not covered):
    • Annual anal pap done in HIV clinic
    • Referrals to colorectal surgery clinic for anoscopy/biopsy needed for follow-up of abnormal pap
    • Referrals to surgeon for consultation on Condyloma
  • Screening and treatment for tuberculosis (TB)
  • Screening and treatment for Hepatitis B and C
  • Screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Routine immunizations administered in HIV Clinic
  • Primary care provided in HIV Clinic
  • Urgent care provided in HIV Clinic
  • Smoking cessation treatment

Other Services Within the HIV Clinic:

  • Clinical pharmacy consultation provided in ID clinic
  • Mental health screening and referral for treatment
  • Addiction screening and referral for treatment
  • Syringe Exchange Services
  • Overdose Prevention/Naloxone
  • Condoms – external (aka, male) and internal (aka, female or insertable) – and lubricant

Medications:

  • Antiretrovirals and other HIV related outpatient medications (primarily covered by ADAP program)
  • Other outpatient medications, not covered by ADAP:
    • Other outpatient medications prescribed by HIV provider, primary care provider, or psychiatric/addiction medicine provider filled at UW Health Pharmacy.
Additional Support Services

Covering the Costs of Health Care

Your assigned Medical Case Manager will help you to understand your health care coverage options and assist you with enrollment.  They have extensive experience working with Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Employer Insurance Plans and other programs to help cover the cost of medications and medical care. They will also assess your eligibility to receive Ryan White Program assistance for additional help with out-of-pocket costs related to HIV care including insurance premium assistance. The HIV program at Southwest CARE Center is partially funded through a grant from the Ryan White Care Act.  As a recipient of Ryan White funds, Southwest CARE Center will not charge you for services if your health care costs exceed an annual payment cap.  This cap is a percentage of your annual income and follows the guidelines described in the Ryan White Care Act.  The payment cap limits the amount you can be charged by us for out-of-pocket medical expenses.  For more details, see the attached Ryan White Payment Cap 2020.

Transportation Assistance

Some people may have trouble getting to their appointments.  A goal of our program is to help patients to improve access to transportation to attend medical appointment.  Your assigned Medical Case Manager will assist you with identifying and using existing transportation resources. When other modes of transportation are not available, our program may be able to provide mileage reimbursement to eligible individuals to ensure they can make it to their medical appointments.

Medical Case Management

Your assigned Medical Case Management will help you with care coordination so that you are able to attend appointments, take medications as prescribed and are referred to other programs and services in the community that will help you with most basic living and housing needs.

Linkage to Care Program

Southwest Care Center is committed to helping people access HIV care as soon as possible.  We offer a Linkage to Care Program where we aim to quickly engage people who are either newly-diagnosed, or who are aware of their HIV diagnosis and not currently being seen by a provider.  Medical Case Managers serve as a patient navigator, helping people connect to HIV medical care and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be active participants in their health care.

Behavioral Health Services

Southwest Care Center recognizes that living with chronic illness may be stressful at times. Once a year, our Medical Case Managers will offer conduct an assessment and develop an individual service plan that can help identify any impact stress may be having on your daily life.  If you are interested, they can also help link you to behavioral health providers. Additionally, our clinic has on-site Behavioral Health providers that are also available to you.

Housing Services

We recognize that worries about housing can impact how a person takes care of their health.  To help address this, we can link clients to housing assistance, emergency financial assistance and federally funding housing programs including HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People Living with AIDS) to provide housing navigation, case management, eviction prevention and financial assistance to eligible individuals.

Client Advisory Board (CAB)

The Client Advisory Board or CAB is a diverse group of service activists who obtain healthcare from us and are dedicated to solutions and improved processes for all patients of Southwest Care.

Visit the Client Advisory Board page to learn more.