The Community Health Care Van (CHCV), created by Dr. Frederick Altice of the Yale AIDS Program, is a 40-foot, mobile medical clinic that travels directly to New Haven’s poorest neighborhoods impacted by HIV/AIDS, illicit drug use, homelessness and mental illness. It overcomes traditional medical care barriers by bridging the gap to link patients to medical and social services. The CHCV estimates annual visits around 7000, and operates Monday through Friday.
The CHCV provides effective outreach and intervention activities to re-engage individuals who are lost to care with its bilingual staff providing services in primary and HIV care, substance use disorders, mental health, and case management to stabilize those in crisis or in need. Once stabilized, clients are transitioned into traditional clinical care sites within New Haven. HIV testing has been part of routine care on the CHCV for several years. The recent advent of the CDC endorsing HIV testing as part of routine care validates that the CHCV is on the forefront of HIV prevention. Other routine screens provided are tuberculosis, hepatitis A, B, C, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
In addition to the CHCV, the program provides health care and harm reduction services (e.g. syringe exchange, naloxone distribution) at no cost to patients at an office location (270 Congress Avenue) and with a minivan that travels throughout the greater New Haven area.