On Sunday, December 11, 2022, Isabel Soles, Clinical Director, and Dr. Avantika Varma, Medical Director of HIV Services at YourTown Health, appeared on “Lenz on Business,” a weekly, one-hour business talk show on 95.5 WSB.
During the show, Soles and Dr. Varma shared the importance of YourTown Health’s HIV Prevention and Treatment Program and the impact it has made and continues to make in the communities it serves.
YourTown Health was awarded a grant to expand HIV services in Georgia-areas with high concentrations of new HIV diagnoses. In early 2022, the HIV Prevention and Treatment Program launched, offerings services at a reduced costs using the Sliding Fee Scale. The program includes a team of certified and trained specialists.
“Looking at our most recent needs assessment, approximately 6,000 individuals with HIV and AIDS live within YourTown Health’s service areas,” said Soles. “That is why it is so important that we have this program available to these communities.”
Dr. Varma then informed listeners about the common misconceptions associated with HIV. She shared that HIV can be transmitted not only through sexual contact but during birth, chestfeeding, and sharing needles. Additionally, she asserted that HIV is not airborne and cannot be transmitted through water, kissing, hugging, or sharing toilets, food, and drinks. “HIV has a lot of misconceptions, which is why one of our goals is to educate communities to better understand the virus,” Dr. Varma explained. “Providing information about how HIV is transmitted and how it can be prevented is a big part of what we’re doing at YourTown Health’s HIV Prevention and Treatment Program.”
The program also offers access to affordable oral medications such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and support services in housing, employment, family and community, food and utilities, crisis, and behavioral health.
Later in the show, Soles and Dr. Varma discussed common symptoms of HIV, its three stages, where to get tested, and much more.
If you missed Isabel Soles and Dr. Avantika Varma on “Lenz on Business,” you can listen to the full episode below: