An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
October 15th, 2008
Back to School, Day 1
We offer two post-graduate courses each year, one entitled Infectious Diseases in Primary Care, and the other AIDS Medicine: An Intensive Case-Based Course. The Primary Care one started today, the AIDS course starts on Monday.
(Both are equally fascinating. I am entirely unbiased.)
What is so striking is that the participants — and content — barely overlap at all. Topics for primary care course:
- Sore throats/colds
You get the idea. For the AIDS course?
- Acute HIV infection
- Management of treatment-naive patients
- Interpretation of resistance testing
- Metabolic complications of therapy
- Legal and ethical considerations of HIV care
I suppose I should not find the lack of overlap surprising, given papers such as this one, citing that 62% of family practitioners refer their AIDS patients to specialists immediately — a big change from 1994, when only 18% did. (Even 62% seems low …)
But the irony is that with improved antiretroviral therapy — the very thing that drove some generalists away from HIV care due to its complexity — HIV patients are living longer, and hence are in greater need of the kind of care delivered best by primary care clinicians.
So maybe what we really need is a primary care course for HIV specialists?