HIV Health & Wellness
(209) 722-GVHC (4842)
HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, or age. Golden Valley Health Centers’ HIV Health & Wellness welcomes you.
Every person deserves access to quality healthcare that supports a happy, healthy life. At Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHC), we respect and value the privacy of all patients. At HIV Health & Wellness, we provide high-quality and complete care to people living with HIV.
GVHC is dedicated to innovation in healthcare, which is why we make sure patients begin treatment as soon as possible with rapid antiretroviral therapy (ART).
- HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing
- Counseling on test results
- Behavioral Health Services
- HIV prevention and education
- HIV medical treatment, including Rapid ART
- Resources to help patients stay in care
Meet Our Providers
Our dedicated team will provide the best quality care in a comfortable, inclusive, and welcoming environment. Your health and well-being are our priority. Our HIV Health & Wellness Care Team is in the Ceres East clinic but we are able to help patients who live in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced Counties. Please contact us for more information. Click here to see all providers and staff.
HIV medicines—called antiretroviral therapy or ART—are for everyone with HIV. ART cannot cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART should start as soon as possible after HIV diagnosis but can help all people with HIV, no matter how long they have had the virus or how healthy they are.
HIV medicines can begin to protect a person’s health right away. Taking HIV medication as prescribed has the following benefits:
- Lowers the amount of HIV in your body
- Helps keep your body stronger to better fight infections
- Lowers risk of passing HIV to others
- Helps prevent drug resistance (having to change your medicine because it no longer works)
Rapid ART (antiretroviral therapy) provides immediate support to a person with a recent HIV diagnosis or those who have been out of care by quickly linking them to medical care and services.
We give complete care beginning with your first visit with your HIV Provider. Our HIV Care Team works with patients to find a plan of care that works best for them. The Care Team guides and supports patients through the care journey to ensure healthy outcomes.
Who is Rapid ART for?
- Anyone newly diagnosed with HIV
- Anyone who is HIV positive and has not received HIV medical care and would like to begin treatment
- Anyone diagnosed with HIV who has had a break in HIV medical care and stopped taking medicine but is ready to return to care
The goal of Rapid ART is to quickly lower the amount of HIV virus in the blood—the viral load—to a level that is so low it is hard to be counted (detectable) by lab tests which makes the virus unable to be passed to others (untransmittable). This is called viral suppression.
U = U means that people with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.
HIV Health & Wellness promotes and supports U = U and is committed to helping patients achieve viral suppression to protect their health and the health of their partners and community. Click here for more U = U information.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes HIV infection. HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells (T cells) of the immune system. The loss of CD4 cells makes it hard for the body to fight infections and certain cancers. Without treatment, HIV can slowly destroy the immune system, lowering the amount of CD4 cells in the body. When a person’s CD4 count is less than 200/cells/mm3, HIV infection advances to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). But, with early and on-time treatment, HIV may never advance to AIDS.
HIV spreads through contact with the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids or breast milk of a person with HIV. HIV cannot be spread through saliva, tears, sweat, air, closed mouth kissing, hugging, mosquitos or ticks, shaking hands, or by sharing dishes or the toilet.