Dealing with a loved one suffering from the HIV virus can be very difficult for families and loved ones. Our services are here to help. We at Faith & Hope understand the needs for emotional support during the difficult times of hard decision-making and overwhelming conditions. Faith & Hope Hospice is much more than just changing bedpans and administering medications. Both patients and families benefit from our services in a holistic manner. We treat the entire range of patient and family needs from the physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns. Patients will be considered to be in the terminal stage of their illness (life expectancy of six months or less) if they meet the following criteria. (1 and 2 should be present; factors from 3 will add supporting documentation):
1. CD4+ Count <25 cells/mcl or persistent (2 or more assays at least one month apart) viral load >100,000 copies/ml, plus one of the following:
- CNS lymphoma;
- Untreated, or persistent despite treatment, wasting (loss of at least 10% lean body mass);
- Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteremia, untreated, unresponsive to treatment, or treatment refused;
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy;
- Systemic lymphoma, with advanced HIV disease and partial response to chemotherapy;
- Visceral Kaposi’s sarcoma unresponsive to therapy;
- Renal failure in the absence of dialysis;
- Cryptosporidium infection;
- Toxoplasmosis, unresponsive to therapy.
2. Decreased performance status, as measured by the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scale, of ≤50%
3. Documentation of the following factors will support eligibility for hospice care:
- Chronic persistent diarrhea for one year;
- Persistent serum albumin <2.5;
- Concomitant, active substance abuse;
- Age >50 years;
- Absence of, or resistance to effective antiretroviral, chemotherapeutic and prophylactic drug therapy related specifically to HIV disease;
- Advanced AIDS dementia complex;
- Congestive heart failure, symptomatic at rest;
- Advanced liver disease.
Each case of HIV/AIDS comes with its own variables and stages. Faith & Hope’s services will address all areas of the patient’s needs including such things as reoccurring illnesses, skin care, pain management, nutrition, and proper hydration. Our team’s experience in the care of our patients allows us to recognize the best ways and times to enact hospice services for each individual person.