Ward 86 Celebrates 40th Anniversary and Launch of SPLASH HIV program

The Ward 86 HIV Clinic in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital is celebrating its 40th year in January 2023 (we opened our doors in January 1983, 18 months after the first CDC report of AIDS). On January 25th, 2023, we celebrated this landmark at Carr auditorium with the launch of SPLASH--a new long-acting, injectible ART program at Ward 86. 

In January 2021, the FDA approved two long-acting antiretroviral medications administered together as intramuscular injections to treat HIV infection and in December 2021, the FDA approved one of these to prevent HIV infection in those at risk as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  These injectable agents for treatment are approved only for people living with HIV who have already achieved virologic suppression on an orally-administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) but there are various barriers to taking oral ART daily for patients in our safety-net system. Ward 86 has launched the first program in the country to give these long-acting medications to patients in vulnerable patients with adherence-challenges. This is an innovative first-in-the-country program (gaining attention from the HIV community) to suppress or prevent HIV with the latest innovations in HIV.

To learn more about the history of Ward 86, its patients, and providers, we urge you to read the article Ward 86 at 40: Shaping HIV Care Around the World by Laura Kurtzman for UCSF News.