Innovation and partnerships have enabled an expansion of services, increased accessibility of HIV testing.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, more than 18,000 people in Arizona have been diagnosed with HIV. Maricopa County is among the 50 local jurisdictions in the United States that made up nearly half of new HIV diagnoses in 2016 and 2017.
Under the initiative “Operation No Limits,” CAN Community Health (CAN) began delivering services in October 2019, encompassing three initiatives to expand the accessibility, adaptability, and affordability of HIV testing in Arizona. The program is funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Health’s HIV Prevention Services, using federal funds made available by the Centers for Disease Control. “No Limits” refers to the absence of any geographic or demographic boundaries in the work CAN is doing in Arizona. Since it began providing services, CAN has received additional funding from Aunt Rita’s Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Maricopa County Health Department. Each funding source has enabled CAN’s innovative program expansion.
Initiative 1: Statewide Tele‐Testing and Tele-PrEP
Using the latest telemedicine technology, CAN is making HIV testing and prevention easier and more accessible than ever.
CAN’s Tele-Testing program includes CAN mailing OraQuick® in‐home oral HIV test kits to individuals or distributing them to community partners for individuals to pick up. Individuals can request or receive a test kit via a QR code. Additionally, CAN’s Tele-PrEP program focuses on providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) navigation and care focused particularly on uninsured and/or underserved patients. Implemented during COVID-19, eligible individuals can access care entirely via telemedicine (if preferred) throughout the state.
Initiative 2: Rapid Start Care (HIV Medicine)
This statewide mobile health delivery program has prioritized five rural counties: Yuma, Pima, Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave as well as urban Maricopa County, based upon HIV prevalence. CAN uses a mobile testing unit, pictured above, with two testing bays and Tele‐Medicine capabilities to reach people in these rural areas. CAN provides blood pressure, glucose, HIV screenings, PrEP navigation, HIV rapid start treatment opportunities, and local care collaboration for any individuals who test reactive. Individuals may receive a rapid start to care in three settings: mobile unit, telemedicine, or at the Phoenix clinic.
Mobile HIV testing can improve access to prevention modalities in geographical areas with high HIV prevalence and fewer public health testing options. CAN partners with many community-based organizations such as shelters, social service centers, substance use facilities, and fellow healthcare organizations to create safe places for testing throughout the state.
Initiative 3: Prevention and Clinical Treatment – Maricopa County
CAN opened its 1,500‐square‐foot facility in Central Phoenix in October 2019 and provides the following services:
- Free health screenings, including rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing and comprehensive sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing.
- Free rapid syphilis testing for women of child-bearing age as means to reduce congenital syphilis via Maricopa County Health Department.
- STD treatment ($35 flat fee).
- Rapid start HIV treatment and PrEP care at CAN’s clinic for uninsured individuals meanwhile insured individuals can meet with our medical provider, Dr. Doug Cunningham of Pueblo Family Physicians, which is on location with CAN in Phoenix (more details below)
- Patient care coordination.
Dr. Doug Cunningham is a nationally-renown infectious disease provider who has served the Phoenix community for 30+ years. He currently works at Pueblo Family Physicians, which is in partnership with CAN and located in the same complex. Additionally, on site is the pharmacy MailMeds. Services at the complex are offered in both English and Spanish, and transportation assistance via UberHealth is available if needed. Altogether CAN offers a comprehensive and innovative set of services in various modalities.
The CAN Mission:
The mission of CAN Community Health is to inspire and contribute to the health and well-being of those affected by HIV, Hepatitis C, and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases by providing the best care through outreach, integrated clinical practice, advocacy, education, and research.
CAN Community Health has been serving the needs of the HIV community in Florida since 1992. We are a private, not‐for‐profit organization dedicated to treating, caring, and continual wellness of people living with HIV, Hepatitis C, STDs, and other diseases regardless of their financial situation, insurance status, or ability to pay. Services vary by location. We provide HIV specialty care by board‐certified Infectious Disease trained physicians. CAN has also become a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, offering education, assistance, and support to other local organizations. For information, visit cancommunityhealth.org.
CAN Community Health – Arizona, 4350 N. 19th Ave, Suite 2, Phoenix, AZ 85015
If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with CAN Arizona, all information can be found at https://www.cancommunityhealth.org/phoenix-arizona/, including online scheduling.
If you’re interested in ordering a home HIV test kit, please see www.canhivtest.org.
If you’re interested in scheduling a mobile test unit health screening event at your community-based organization, please reach out to Heather Smith, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.