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Published on January 20, 2016

Specialist offers compassionate care to HIV patients

As the newly appointed director of HIV Clinical Services at UHS Binghamton Primary Care, Scott Rosman, NP, has a message for the community.

“I want to remind everyone that we provide judgment-free primary care services to HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients,” he said. “We have a comprehensive and compassionate specialized HIV team for people living with HIV and those who are at risk of contracting the disease.”

Scott provides primary care for almost 300 HIV-positive patients and recently passed rigorous testing to achieve the HIV specialist designation from the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Recently he began offering hepatitis-C treatment for primary care and HIV co-infected patients as well. He is the region's leading expert on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. This daily medication can be prescribed for partners of HIV-infected patients and other individuals who don’t have HIV but who participate in behaviors that put them at risk.

“One of my joys in this job is working with people at high risk for contracting HIV and keeping them healthy. They feel judged because of their behavior, so we offer them a safe place to have conversations that might be difficult with other people,” Scott said. “The PrEP medication, together with risk-reduction counseling, can decrease their probability of acquiring HIV.”
The PrEP medication and new advances in antiretroviral medicine have changed the way HIV specialists approach patient care, according to Scott. Cutting-edge treatment protocols mean HIV patients are living longer, healthier lives.

“We provide the best treatment options to minimize side effects and maximize quality of life," he noted. "We haven’t cured HIV, but with the new treatments, life expectancy for many HIV patients is the same as for those without HIV. And as long as the patient follows the regimen, there is a lower risk of passing HIV to another person."

The UHS organization is working together with other healthcare institutions across New York State to implement the “Ending the Epidemic” plan presented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last June. It is a three-point plan to reduce the number of new HIV cases from an estimated 3,000 to just 750 by 2020. The points involve identifying people who are undiagnosed, linking those individuals with healthcare providers and facilitating access to PrEP for the high-risk population.

Greta Immermann, HIV program coordinator at UHS Binghamton Primary Care, said the plan includes community outreach to places where high-risk individuals live or receive services, as well as using social media outlets to inform the public about the latest news on HIV treatment and prevention.
“We also want to get the news out to clinical providers about the effectiveness of PrEP,” she said. “Scott can be a resource for them and they can prescribe PrEP for their patients who can benefit from it.”

“UHS and the people of this area are very fortunate to have Scott on our team,” Greta said. “He is a wonderful and compassionate practitioner who goes above and beyond for his patients. He has been the key player in expanding our services and brings a level of expertise in HIV treatment that really makes a big difference in so many people’s lives.”