Gilead Sciences greenlit a research initiative by the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences to develop a two-in-one COVID and HIV screening and testing.
The school announced via PRNewswire that the Two in One program provides primary care practitioners with routine HIV screening training while screening for and administering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
The tools will also provide clinicians with appropriate communication techniques when treating BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ patients.
“With this model, we aim to create a more understanding and culturally responsive healthcare system for patients who are disproportionately impacted by HIV and COVID-19,” said Maranda Ward, principal investigator of the Two in One model and assistant professor of clinical research and leadership at the university.
The model aims to challenge stigmas attached to HIV and COVID screening, as well as any barriers clinicians and patients alike face in talking openly about risks and ongoing support.
With an aim to reach 10,000 primary care practitioners through the program, the researchers hope to actively engage the next wave of medical practitioners by recruiting students and trainees from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Omoro Omoighe, senior director, Advancing Health and Black Equity, Gilead Sciences, said, “HBCUs have incredible acumen in understanding the holistic health needs of BIPOC communities,” further stating that the connection between HBCUs and those studying at predominately white institutions is critical to learning how to provide care.
The training series has two parts. Nine live-streamed, continuing medical education (CME) monthly lectures will join an asynchronous module-based training and toolkit. A symposium will culminate the focus on translating the knowledge into policies and practices.