As the HIV Testing and Counseling Intern at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) 1917 Clinic, UAB MD/MPH student Samina Karim was part of a team dedicated to providing care for low-income, uninsured and under-insured adults with HIV. The 1917 Clinic provides comprehensive HIV-related health care, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), for around 3,500 patients in the Birmingham area. During her time at the Clinic, Samina administered rapid HIV ALERE and ORAQUICK tests, managed testing data, and educated patients and the public about HIV prevention and treatment options. Samina supplemented the typical HIV counseling with extra attention on HIV awareness, healthy relationships, and good decision-making.
Her time at the 1917 Clinic impacted Samina’s views on healthcare. She explains, “Providing [HIV tests] during routine annual visits to patients regardless of risk factors is important for recognizing those with asymptomatic infection. Primary care physicians need to make use of HIV prevention methods to catch infections earlier and prevent progression of disease.” We look forward to seeing how Samina incorporates these lessons into her work as an internal medicine physician.