The STAR Health Center offers specialized care for HIV disease by health care professionals who are experienced in meeting your medical, social and mental health needs. Our health care team is committed to creating and maintaining a partnership with you to ensure optimal health care outcomes. The STAR Health Center is a New York State Designated AIDS Center (DAC), and all of our primary care providers meet the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute criteria as HIV Specialty Providers.
We provide confidential HIV testing on-site in the STAR Health Center via rapid testing (preliminary results in 20 minutes).
Prevention for Your Partner
If you are HIV positive and your partner is HIV negative, you want to protect him/her from acquiring HIV infection. You should continue to use condoms, but your partner may also be interested in receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP at the STAR Health Center. By taking a pill every day, PrEP can help keep your partner HIV negative. Read more
Women’s Health Care
Through its targeted research in women and HIV, SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been a national leader in the care of HIV in women since the early 1990’s. Routine gynecologic (GYN) care is integrated into primary care in the STAR Health Center. Three providers are trained in the performance of colposcopy, a procedure which may be done to more closely examine the vagina and cervix when the result of a Pap test is abnormal. A gynecologic oncologist provides consultation on-site when further evaluation and treatment is needed.
Family Focused Health Care
The STAR Health Center addresses family needs into HIV care. We provide coordinated obstetrical and HIV care from a prenatal care provider that has extensive experience in HIV. Your STAR OB and PCP both have access to your electronic health record to ensure that your care is coordinated. A designated family case manager will work with you to ensure the well-being of your entire family, including HIV exposed infants as well as your HIV negative children. HIV positive young adults transitioning from care at the HEAT Program’s adolescent clinic to adult care at the STAR Health Center receive specialized medical and mental health care by designated providers. Read more
Medication Adherence / Peer Education
The STAR Health Center’s Adherence Education Program is designed to build collaboration between you and your health care team that empowers you to improve your health and self-manage your illness. We work with you to integrate the cultural aspects of your beliefs into the development of personalized health plans to reduce barriers, and encourage adherence to medication regimens and maintenance in care. We can also partner you with a trained peer educator that will provide ongoing support and education. In addition, a clinical pharmacist is available to meet with your in the health center for additional education and support.
Our NYS registered dietician will provide you with nutritional education and counseling to assist you in setting nutritional goals to maintain good health, including menu planning, food selection & preparation, recipe modification & education regarding food/drug interactions.
Case Management Services
STAR Health Center case managers assist you obtain benefits and social services. They help you enroll in Medicaid or insurance plans. They ensure that necessary prior approvals are received from insurance plans for all services to ensure comprehensive care. They help you obtain transportation to your appointments. They also make sure that you are linked to other agencies with whom we have longstanding relationships to ensure you obtain services such as housing, legal assistance, adult education, vocational training and recovery services to ensure comprehensive care.
If you are having difficulty keeping your medical appointments or sticking with your medication schedule, this can dramatically affect your health outcomes. You may benefit from specialized services in the STAR Health Center to provide you with additional support. The STAR Health Center will assign you a Patient Navigator who will encourage you to maintain your care by visiting you at home, providing you with education about your medications, providing you with ongoing support. We may even come to your home daily, if needed, to remind you to take your medications.
Behavioral Health Services
The STAR Health Center offers evaluation, ongoing treatment and mental health medication management from NYS licensed mental health providers. We also offer individual and family counseling from experienced counselors in your home. If grief, fear, stigma, or isolation make it difficult for you to remain engaged in care and treatment this may be a good option for you. We will work with you on any barriers to care, including family problems and substance use. If you are unstably housed or do not want to meet us in your home we can also meet you in the community to help you explore your options towards more stability. Read more