Expanding the Status Neutral Model
Expanding the Status Neutral Model: A new concept of an old idea. Using this model for every patient can help us end the stigma around HIV.Expanding the Status Neutral Model to Every Patient
Have you ever heard of the status neutral model? It's a new concept of an old idea. It is part of the no wrong door approach to ending the HIV epidemic. In the conversations that I've had across the state, this model seems to be less know but once explained there is beauty in the simplicity of the process.
The status neutral model is a way of approaching every person and can be extended outside of HIV. Each person that is seen clinically is either trying to prevent something from developing or treating something. So, either a provider is talking to a patient to try to keep them healthy or a provider is talking to a patient to ensure they are following the treatment plan for healthier outcomes. For example: my dad had high blood pressure so when I took him to the doctor his provider was talking to him about staying on his medication to keep it controlled. I don't have blood pressure but knowing I have a family history of high blood pressure when I go to the doctor, he tells me ways to keep me from developing it. It's the same with HIV. A person who has had unprotected sex, shared syringes or works, or has gotten a tattoo from an unregulated source are all at risk of HIV and since it can be latent in the body for 10-12 years the expose doesn't have to be recent. When a person is negative you speak about prevention this includes condoms, lube, PrEP/PEP, harm reduction things of that nature. When a person is positive you speak about the medications that are available. That because of medical advancements a person can have a normal life span, that because of the medications available a person's HIV viral load can be undetectable which means they are untransmittable (U=U), or they can't transmit it to other people. The CDC recommends everyone get screened at least once in their lifetime and more depending on behaviors. With universal (or opt-out) testing it normalizes the conversation around sexual health and since sexual heath is a large part of overall health you may learn something that would be beneficial when treating blood pressure, diabetes, prostate, mental health issues, etc.
The status neutral model is simple and sounds like something that is done every day with every patient right? That's because it is. HIV is like every other chronic disease. Whether someone is on the prevention path, or the treatment path providers look at the individual in front of them and give them best practice advice for optimum health outcomes. I've included a link from the CDC with additional information regarding the status neutral model Issue Brief: Status Neutral HIV Care and Service Delivery | Policy and Law | HIV/AIDS | CDC . If you would like to discuss this or other related topics. Don't hesitate to reach out to me.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2022, October 21. Status Neutral HIV Prevention and Care. Retrieved from Status Neutral HIV Prevention and Care | Prevent | Effective Interventions | HIV/AIDS | CDC
Written by Chera H. Mattox, MPH