Pediatrics – Infectious Diseases
Pediatric AIDS Program – Pediatric Immunodeficiency Clinic
Our providers are subspecialty trained clinicians who use state-of-the-art methods to provide specialized HIV testing and evaluation for children and adolescents at risk for HIV infection. Our team of highly trained staff, including physicians, a primary nurse or nurse practitioner, social worker, and pharmacist, are sensitive to the special issues surrounding the possible diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Our team is equipped to provide psychological support and counseling in an environment of strict confidentiality. We treat children of all ages, from babies born to HIV-infected mothers to adolescents, and provide an individualized program for those adolescents as they transition to adult care. All providers who work in the clinic program are specialists who are well qualified and experienced in caring for children with HIV disease. We can provide primary care or consultations for those who already have a primary care provider.
In addition to consultative and primary care, the Pediatric Immunodeficiency Clinic also has access to the most advanced therapies for the treatment of HIV disease. We offer a number of clinical trials sponsored by the The National Institutes of Health as part of their international network known as IMPAACT, as well as others through individual pharmaceutical companies and our Expanded Access programs. Our HIV dedicated doctoral level pharmacist attends clinic and is always available for consultation with both providers and families.
Our perinatal consultations benefit from our close collaboration with members of the Obstetrics Department with specific expertise in HIV, as well as a neonatologist with both expertise in the care of HIV infected babies, as well as developmental pharmacology. This allows us to offer state-of-the-art antiretroviral therapy to even the smallest premature babies. Pregnant mothers with HIV are followed throughout the prenatal period, and members of our team staff the HOPE Clinic which provides specialized obstetrical care for HIV-infected mothers. After birth, we perform a full course of diagnostic testing and evaluation of the baby.
We have collaboration and links to outside social service agencies who provide support for those infected and affected by HIV. We have links to housing advocates from the AIDS Action Committee and have legal assistance provided by the Greater Boston Legal Advocates as well as from our own department of Pediatrics, Child Advocacy Group.
For at-risk adolescents, our ACT-NOW team (Adolescent Care Team) provides HIV testing and follow-up, including those with other sexually transmitted infectious diseases.
We can provide case management and mental health counseling referral. In addition, BMC’s SPARK Center, a medically-therapeutic childcare facility and day program for children with complex medical needs, maintains close ties with our clinic staff thereby allowing optimal care to be delivered to the children and families we both serve.
The clinic meets on Monday and Wednesday mornings each week. Two Tuesday evening sessions per month are also scheduled to accommodate patients who go to school or who have families who work. Adolescent patients who are approaching the age for transition to adult care are seen in our unique Transition Clinic, in the Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center and located within the Center for Infectious Diseases. Here the patients have access to services designed especially for adults with HIV, while still being seen by the Pediatric Medical Providers with whom they have enjoyed a long relationship. A seamless transition to adult providers is customized for each patient when the timing is appropriate.