Care Coordination

  • What is viral suppression?
    People with HIV should take medicine to treat HIV as soon as possible. HIV medicine is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine reduces the amount of HIV in the body (viral load) to a very low level, which keeps the immune system working and prevents illness. This is called viral suppression—defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood. HIV medicine can even make the viral load so low that a test can’t detect it. This is called an undetectable viral load.

    Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load* is the best thing people with HIV can do to stay healthy. Another benefit of reducing the amount of virus in the body is that it helps prevent transmission to others through sex or syringe sharing, and from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. This is sometimes referred to as treatment as prevention.

    * A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.

  • What is a psychosocial assessment?
    There are many elements that influence our ability to function, our perceptions, decisions, preferences, behaviors, goals and aspirations. In order to identify strengths and barriers, there needs to be a kind of inventory of physical (medical),behavioral (psychologic), social (environmental) and health care experiences (systems).The psychosocial assessment tool administered by a mental health professional is designed to assess these experiences.
  • What types of income do I have to report for eligibility?
    Income from the following sources is required to be reported and requires documentation:
    - Salaries and wages.
    - Payments from pensions and retirement accounts.
    - Earnings from self-employment.
    - Workers’ Compensation.
    - Interest earned on investments.
    - Periodic Trust Fund payments.
    - Public Assistance money.
    - Unemployment compensation.
    - Social Security income.
    - Alimony and Child Support payments.
    - Veteran’s Administration benefits.
    - Military allotments.
    - American Indian payments.
    - Pensions and Annuities (other than SSA/SSI and VA).
    - Dividends, Interest, or Royalties.
    - Rental income.
    - Tax-reportable Casino/Gambling winnings.
    - Insurance or Legal Settlements.
    - All other sources of cash income.
  • What is HIV Positive Status Verification?
    Documentation of HIV positive Western Blot Test normally administered by hospital or health department. Documentation of two rapid HIV tests from two different manufacturers indicating the presence of HIV antibodies. Lab reports indicating a detectable HIV viral load.

Hepatitis C

  • How long does Hepatitis C treatment last?
    Standard Hepatitis C treatment is around 1-3 months depending on Hepatitis C viral load, chronic liver disease, having Hepatitis A or B, and Genotype (or specific type of Hepatitis C).
  • Are there any side effects from Hepatitis C treatment?
    There are rarely side effects with new Hepatitis C medications. When side effects occur, they can include: stomach upset, headache, excessive sleepiness, or insomnia.
  • How much does Hepatitis C treatment cost?
    Standard Hepatitis C treatment costs around $150,000 including medication, medical care, and lab work. Tulsa Cares’ Hepatitis C program has no charge for those who qualify for assistance.
  • Who is eligible Tulsa Cares’ Hepatitis C Program?
    Clients must be below 400% FPG without health insurance or they must have Soonercare, Medicare, or private insurance. Potential clients need access to a telephone, willingness to discuss harm reduction and substance use management, and motivation to commit to around 6 months of case management services and medical care. Clients must provide proof of income, an Oklahoma ID, and an accurate assessment of their current medical and financial situation.
  • Is Hepatitis C treatment effective?
    Yes. The newer Hepatitis C medications have 98% success rates.
  • Does Tulsa Cares help with other social services for people living with Hepatitis C?
    Yes. Hepatitis C Program participants have access to Tulsa Cares’ transportation assistance program, nutrition assistance, mental health, and intensive case management services. Tulsa Cares’ Hepatitis C care coordinators are experienced in referring clients to community partners to assist with housing, nutrition, safety, and family needs.

Mental Health

  • What types of issues can I work on in therapy?
    We can help you address almost any issue that you are willing to work on. If your issue is beyond our area of expertise, we will help you find another agency that can possibly better serve you. Therapy can include couples and or family counseling, serving you as well as your partner or family member.
  • What do I need to do in order to get mental health services?
    1. Ask your case manager to fill out and submit a referral for mental health services.
    2. Call our therapists and they will be happy to talk to you about how they can help and answer any question you have.
    3. You can also refer yourself, by simply calling the mental health department, as long as you meet the agency criteria.
  • How are Tulsa CARES' mental health services different from others?
    Our mental health program is certified and must meet the Council of Accreditation standards. Our therapists are licensed mental health professionals, and our staff is experienced with topics regarding HIV, Hep C and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as harm reduction.
  • How can Tulsa CARES mental health staff help me?
    Our mental health staff are trained in dealing with past as well as present trauma and have the training and expertise to help you resolve any number of issues. Our goal is to help you live the best life you can in spite of the challenges of any chronic health condition.

    Staff are trained in:
    - EMDR & PET for recovery from past trauma that haunts our present.
    - Hypnosis for smoking, weight, phobia, or any other issue you are willing to work on.
    - Acudetox for anxiety, depression and recovery.
    - Behavioral Cognitive Therapy for changing thoughts and behaviors that no longer work for us.
    - Narrative Therapy offering clients the opportunity to free their minds of mental/emotional baggage.
    - Addiction Counseling for assistance with almost any addiction—substance, food, gambling, and sex.
    - Mindfulness & Meditation for all around mental health, by reducing stress, anxiety and inner turmoil.
  • What if I want to attend a  Tulsa CARES group?
    Simply select the group you are interested in, and call the therapist, or facilitator of that group. Group members do not have to be clients of Tulsa CARES, they simply have to meet the requirements of the specific group. Be willing to give the group more than one try before you make a decision. You can find group meeting dates on our calendar.
  • What can I expect?
    Everything you say in session is treated with the utmost confidentiality. There is no shame, blame, or judgement. We are only here to help.There is never any cost to you, whether you have insurance or not.

Food & Nutrition

  • Does Tulsa CARES have a food pantry?
    Tulsa CARES has a food pantry that offers high quality foods for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
  • What types of food assistance does Tulsa CARES offer?
    Tulsa CARES has a food pantry, emergency grocery packs, Farmers’ Market, and will offer assistance in finding resources in the Tulsa area and the surrounding rural areas.
  • Does Tulsa CARES offer nutrition counseling?
    Tulsa CARES has a registered dietitian on staff who offers nutrition counseling and Medical Nutrition Therapy for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more!
  • Does Tulsa CARES perform body composition tests?
    Tulsa CARES does perform body composition tests to determine fat and muscle mass for clients. Please call the front office to schedule an appointment with the dietitian.
  • Is there someone at Tulsa CARES who can help me gain weight?
    Our dietitian works with clients who need to gain weight by providing Medial Nutrition Therapy to best meet the needs of the clients.


  • Who qualifies for housing assistance through your program?
    Our program provides financial housing and utility assistance to low income clients residing within Tulsa CARES' 23 county service area.
  • I already receive Section 8 assistance. Can you help me with rent and utilities?
    Yes. At this time, Tulsa CARES is able to offer limited rent and utility assistance to Section 8 clients experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. All applicants must meet standard housing program eligibility criteria.
  • If I'm approved for assistance, does my property manager have to know that I'm a client of Tulsa CARES?
    No. Our housing program interacts with property owners and landlords through a separate name.
  • What housing services are available for people experiencing homelessness?
    Our housing program offers assistance with rest, mortgage, and utility bills. Our program also allows qualified clients to receive one-time permanent housing assistance with deposit and first month's rent. Clients with ongoing financial hardships (i.e. fixed or unstable income) may qualify for monthly rental assistance up to 12 months.
  • Do you help with application fees and other move-in costs?
    Tulsa CARES provides linkage to community resources to meet these needs. Limited funding may be available for these costs but cannot be guaranteed.


  • Should I get tested for HIV or HCV?
    Factors that can potentially expose you to HIV or HCV include:
    - Condom-less sex with someone who may be living with HIV or HCV
    - Sharing needles or tattoo supplies with someone who may be living with HIV or HCV
    - A woman is able to pass HIV during pregnancy and childbirth. This can be prevented, but those who are pregnant should discuss with their doctor.
  • How much does testing cost?
    Testing through Tulsa CARES is always FREE.
  • What do I need to bring to get tested?
    All services at Tulsa CARES are confidential and nothing is required for testing.
  • What if my result is negative?
    Your testing counselor will talk to you about the window period for HIV and HCV, a period of time after a person is infected during which they won’t test positive. It may be recommended that you come back to re-test.
  • What if my result is positive?
    Learning your status can sometimes be scary but we are here to help. Tulsa CARES staff are trained to provide education, medical referrals and help through every step of your journey. You may be given a follow up test to confirm.