Primary Care and Advanced HIV Care Under One Roof There are only a small number of doctors in the Detroit area who specialize in providing HIV care, and only a handful of these doctors provide primary medical care along with advanced HIV care. Dr. Paul Benson and the Be Well Medical Center are among this small, specialized group.
Why Choose the Be Well Medical Center?
Selecting a physician can be a difficult decision, especially for someone with a chronic illness like HIV. Certainly you will want a physician who is dedicated to keeping up to date on all relevant information about HIV, who has keen diagnostic abilities to contend with the challenging and masquerading spectrum of illnesses that HIV can cause, and who is accessible when needed in times of crisis. In addition, you will want a physician who does not overlook the human side of medicine, one who has a compassionate demeanor, manifests empathy, possesses personable communication skills, and is supported by a congenial office staff.
We believe the Be Well Medical Center embodies these values and deserves to be considered when you are choosing a health care provider for your HIV care.
HIV Prevention Clinical Research Trials In order for any drug or other medical treatment to receive approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration so that it is legally available for patient use, it must undergo a lengthy process to establish that it is safe and effective. A key stage in this process is clinical research trials, where the experimental treatment is administered to some patients and not others, and the results are compared.
Dr. Benson and the Be Well Medical Center have participated in over a hundred such clinical research studies over the years for HIV prevention and treatment.
Dr. Benson oversees these trials as the Principal Investigator, with physician assistant Mark Rosen serving as Sub-Investigator, and Amber Hooper, Lina Kakouz, and Gloria Karungi assisting as Clinical Research Studies Coordinators.
The studies can last up to two to three years. They are double-blinded (meaning that they are set up in such a way that neither the patient participants nor the researchers administering the treatment know which patients are receiving the experimental treatment and which are not). At any given time, Be Well may be participating in a dozen or more studies.
HIV Testing & Prevention Including PrEP The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). An HIV test will tell you whether you have been infected with the HIV virus.
How is HIV Spread?
Different types of viruses spread in different ways, and some are transmitted more readily than others. The HIV virus specifically is transmitted through contact with the blood, semen and pre-seminal fluid, vaginal and cervical secretions, and breast milk of an infected person. Most commonly this occurs when such bodily fluids are exchanged through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sex), or through the sharing of used needles by intravenous drug users. An infected mother may also infect her baby during pregnancy, at time of birth, or while breast feeding.
Once such bodily fluids are outside the body and exposed to the air, the virus soon becomes inactive. Contact with the still active virus outside the body in sufficient volume to result in transmission is very rare, though not impossible.
You cannot get infected with the HIV virus by donating blood.
How Can You Lessen Your Chances of Being Infected By HIV?
Since the HIV virus is spread through the exchange of certain bodily fluids, the best way to avoid being infected with the virus is by avoiding exchanging these bodily fluids.
Transgender Health Care Dr. Benson and the Be Well Medical Center have practiced non-discriminatory health care that is respectful of all individuals and their gender identity since 1980. We have decades of experience with all aspects of transgender care. We offer gender-affirming hormone therapy and transitioning services, including as part of the care of our HIV patients.
We respect the choice to transition as a profoundly powerful and life-changing decision. The transition process takes time and can be very complex, so it is crucial that it be facilitated by the right team of caring medical professionals with the relevant experience.