HIV-Positive Inmates to Receive Tool to Help Improve Continuity of Care

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announces the launch of its Patient History Card, a portable health history card that is not patient identifiable and is designed to help HIV-positive inmates manage and monitor the success of their HIV care both in and out of correctional facilities. The card empowers patients to monitor their therapy and informs their physicians about their treatment history. Cards will be available free of charge to all correctional facilities in the U.S.

"We designed the Patient History Card as a foldable, wallet-sized card so that HIV-positive inmates can carry it with them at all times," said David Wohl, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, who helped design the card. "The card enables patients to record current medication, viral loads, CD4+ counts, weight by date, past HIV medications, drug allergies, hepatitis status, vaccinations and other information that is critical to the effective management of their health."

Patient names and the terms "HIV" and "AIDS" are not included on the card to assist in maintaining privacy.

The majority of inmates are incarcerated multiple times for multiple offences. For HIV positive inmates, this movement in and out of correctional facilities disrupts the continuity of their health care, making it difficult to track and adhere to appropriate treatment regimens. Disruptions in therapy may diminish the effectiveness of a treatment regimen and limit the number of therapeutic alternatives available in the future. The Patient History Card facilitates the patient's interaction with multiple healthcare providers, enabling patients to continue receiving their therapy in any setting. The card can be ordered by correctional facilities by calling toll-free (877) 933-4310 ext. 9527 or ext. 9551.

"Non-adherence to therapy is the number one problem that I face when treating HIV positive inmates. The resulting drug resistance not only decreases a patient's own treatment options, but can impact the community at large should the resistant virus be spread to others. It is therefore crucial to arm HIV-positive inmates with tools to manage their disease both in and outside of correctional facilities," said Dr. Karl Brown, infectious diseases supervisor at Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.