John T. Carey Special Immunology Unit

The University Hospitals of Cleveland John T. Carey Special Immunology Unit (UH SIU) is the largest provider of primary care to HIV-positive people in northern Ohio and one of the largest in the Midwest. Patient care is addressed by a team of dedicated professionals that include a physician, nurse, medical assistant and social worker. A dietician, pharmacist, and financial coordinator are also available to all patients based on their needs. The SIU is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., with a Tuesday evening clinic until 8:00 p.m. A physician is available on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you would like to schedule an appointment,
please call Carolyn Williams, Intake Coordinator at 216.844.2649.

History of Special Immunology Unit

The Special Immunology Unit was established in 1985 to address the growing need in Greater Cleveland to provide primary medical care to persons with HIV infection. From its beginning, the SIU has provided primary medical care to all persons regardless of ability to pay. In 1989, Dr. John T. Carey assumed leadership of the SIU. His excellence as a physician and HIV educator helped establish the SIU as a premier facility for HIV care. Dr. Carey remained the director of the SIU until his untimely death in September 1995. The SIU was renamed The John T. Carey Special Immunology Unit in his honor. In January 1997 Dr. Barbara Gripshover assumed the role of the Director of the SIU.

Services Available to Patients

HIV Primary Care at the SIU includes:

  1. Clinical evaluations by physicians and nurses as well as laboratory monitoring of HIV-1 progression;
  2. Immunizations with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, hepatitis A and B vaccine, influenza vaccine, and other routine immunizations;
  3. Treatment with state of the art antiretroviral therapies and preventative medicines against opportunistic infections as well as access to Emergency and Short Term Medication Assistance Programs;
  4. Pharmaceutical education including adherence counseling, side effect management, and assistance obtaining medications;
  5. Dietary counseling to assure optimal education regarding nutritional support, as well as diet modification for medical problems;
  6. Risk reduction counseling regarding safer sex and reduction of exposure to opportunistic pathogens;
  7. Referrals for medical subspecialties including but not limited to: neurology, psychiatry, gastroenterology, pulmonary, renal, oncology, dermatology, all surgical specialties, ophthalmology, and obstetrics/gynecology;
  8. Women’s health services including routine gynecological procedures and breast examinations;
  9. Comprehensive dental care accessed through the nearby CWRU School of Dentistry;
  10. On-site access to HIV treatment trials through the highly respected NIH-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.
  11. Referrals to collaborative organizations for substance abuse counseling, mental health services, home health care, nursing home care and hospice care services

Case management is provided to assure that patients have access to federal, state and local resources to support their medical, financial, housing, transportation and social needs.

Hospitalization is provided through the dedicated HIV service located in the University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Patient care is supervised by SIU faculty to assure continuity of care.

Free HIV Testing and Counseling (anonymous or confidential) is provided at the SIU. HIV testing is done without an appointment, Monday through Thursday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tuesdays: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm. For more information about HIV testing and counseling at the SIU, please call 216-844-7892.