WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. healthcare agency in Washington announced an initiative Thursday intended to expand healthcare for people with HIV.
The Kaiser Permanente HIV Challenge, announced at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Care Innovations Summit, challenges other private healthcare providers and public and community health clinics to increase the number of HIV-positive people getting effective treatment by sharing Kaiser Permanente's toolkit of clinical best practices.
Kaiser Permanente offered provider and patient education materials, mentoring, training and health Internet Technology expertise.
"The organizations presenting challenges here today are pushing the best minds in the country to create a better healthcare system," Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a statement.
More than 1.1 million Americans live with HIV, and 56,000 people in the United States become infected each year, but 1-in-5 with HIV don't know they are infected, U.S. officials said.
"Too many people are unaware they have HIV because access to effective prevention and care is insufficient," said Dr. Michael Horberg, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, executive director of research for Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. "People with HIV need to get into treatment because quality HIV treatment prevents others from getting infected."