Dr. Michael Karagiozis has joined AIDS Healthcare Foundation as a full-time medical director for AHF Health Care Center’s two locations in Las Vegas.
Karagiozis has spent a considerable portion of his career treating HIV patients and working with marginalized populations.
LOS ANGELES (March 28, 2016) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global HIV/AIDS organization, is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Karagiozis as a full-time medical director for the AHF Health Care Centers in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. As medical director, Karagiozis will treat HIV patients while providing guidance and leadership to AHF physicians and staff. His addition to the AHF team in Las Vegas will help expand services in the region and build partnerships with relevant providers and organizations.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Karagiozis on board as a full-time medical director for our Las Vegas AHF Health Care Centers,” said Dale Gluth, AHF’s Regional Director for Las Vegas. “His wealth of experience in treating patients with HIV and educating physicians will make him an excellent addition to our team.”
In addition to his role as a medical director, Dr. Karagiozis hopes to initiate a certification program to educate residents and medical students on the proper care and treatment of HIV patients. He is an experienced educator, having taught a course in primary care to osteopathic medical students at Touro University Nevada, established the first accredited fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Southern Nevada and founded the Certified Medical Investigator program for the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. Karagiozis senses a troubling lack of confidence in family physicians and internists when dealing with HIV patients, due to stigma as well as lack of awareness about regular testing parameters and treatment options. The unwillingness to address the disease, according to Karagiozis, results in a lack of HIV diagnoses and inadequate care.
“Nothing destroys fear, ignorance and disempowerment like education,” said Dr. Karagiozis. “If we can educate people about HIV and demystify it, then it will just become another disease to be treated.”
During his final year at the Western University of Health Sciences in 1986, Dr. Karagiozis was assigned to work in a hospital outside Hollywood where his floor contained all HIV-positive men. He could do little to alleviate the patients’ suffering, a powerlessness that left a “significant and indelible mark.” When Karagiozis arrived in Reno for his residency, he was one of few family physicians with prior HIV experience. Years later, he was placed in charge of Nevada’s state HIV program.
Dr. Karagiozis has now been practicing in Las Vegas for over 13 years. From campaigning to get prison inmates on HIV treatment, to spending the last several years providing hospice and palliative care for terminally ill patients, Karagiozis thrives where most family physicians fear to tread. As a medical director for AHF, he will continue to serve disadvantaged populations in Las Vegas and diminish the stigma surrounding HIV. With the likely addition of his educational certification program, Karagiozis aims to establish AHF as a leading authority on care and treatment strategies for HIV patients.