HIV Primary Care Services

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Understanding Labs

Understanding labs can be baffling and complex process for an HIV positive person. Unity Wellness Center‘s clinic will schedule a patient to have labs drawn every three months. From the lab work, our medical providers can tell many things about your body, the HIV virus and your overall health.

With the lab work, the clinicians test for signs of infection, low blood counts and sexually transmitted diseases. Ultimately, we monitor the stability of your HIV disease. Below is a list of the common lab tests that UWC will order for each patient.

The complete blood count or CBC test is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.
A type of T cell involved in protecting against viral, fungal, and protozoal infections. These cells normally coordinate the immune response, signaling other cells in the immune system to perform their special functions. Destruction of CD4+ cells is the major cause of the immunodeficiency observed in AIDS.
Urine test that screens for the presence of bacterial sexually transmitted infection. It causes discharge, inflammation and burning during urination.
The comprehensive metabolic panel, or chemical screen, is a panel of 14 blood tests which serves as an initial broad screening tool for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The CMP provides an important serious check on the status of kidney function, liver function, and electrolyte and fluid balance.
Is a type of resistance testing that evaluates whether HIV has evolved resistance to particular drugs. It can help a physician decide on an initial antiretroviral regimen and help guide choices when treatment needs to be changed.
Blood test used to determine the presence of a viral infection in the liver.
The complete blood count or CBC test is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases.
Is a blood test that measures good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. Some HIV medications may increase these levels.
Syphilis tests detect antibodies to the bacterium that causes syphilis in blood, body fluid, or tissue.
Blood test used to determine the presence of a parasitic infection. The parasite can be carried by cats, birds or other animals. A positive blood test can sometimes require hospitalization.
Injection of solution under the skin to screen for the presence of TB. If you have ever been exposed to the TB bacteria, your skin will react to the antigens by developing a firm red bump at the site within 2 days. The TB bacteria is an airborne bacteria that you can come in contact with when a person sneezes , laughs, sings, talks or coughs.
Blood test that confirms the presence of HIV.


Dr. Ricardo Maldonado
Dr. Ricardo Maldonado is Unity Wellness Center’s Medical Director. Dr. Maldonado received his MD Degree from Faculty of Medicine of San Fernando in Peru in 1996. He did an internship with Metropolitan Hospital in New York. He completed his residency at the Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Maldonado then completed a one-year Fellowship in infectious disease with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Dr. Maldonado worked at Carolinas Hospital System, McLeod Regional Medical Center and Regency Hospital. He also worked with Hope Health in Florence, SC. In December of 2009, Dr. Maldonado was appointed to Medical Staff at East Alabama Medical Center as the Infectious Disease Doctor. Dr. Maldonado is Board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.
Dr. Wood
Dr. Wood received his MD Degree from University of South Alabama. He then attended UAB-Tuscaloosa Hospital for his residency in Family Medicine. After completion of his residency Dr. Wood moved to Vermont and worked for North County Hospital and Health Center for six years. In February 2009, Dr Wood was appointed to the Medical Staff at East Alabama Medical Center as a physician at Primary Medicine of East Alabama in Auburn. Dr. Wood is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a HealthGrades Recognized Doctor.
Petula Gunn
Petula Gunn is the Nurse Practitioner for Unity Wellness Center. Petula graduated from JSU nursing school in 1999. She worked at NEARMC hospital for 5 years. She obtained her masters in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2001. She worked for the Alabama Department of Public Health for six years. She then served as a clinical instructor for auburn university nursing students doing clinical at EAMC. She then spent two years at Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee, Hurtsboro, and Lafayette. She started with Unity Wellness in February of 2011.
Sandra S. Fagen
Sandra S. Fagen, RN is the Unity Wellness Center’s Clinical Coordinator. She graduated with a BA in Public Relations, Auburn University and an ADN from Southern Union State Community College. Sandy started her nursing career at The Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia in the Emergency Department where she first became interested in HIV and AIDS. After working two years there, she became a travel nurse in the Washington D. C. area. She worked in inner city emergency and trauma centers in Maryland D.C. and Virginia for the next ten years. She then worked for a cardiology group who had offices in Maryland and Delaware while taking a break from trauma. After moving back to Auburn, she joined Unity Wellness as its Clinical Coordinator in January 2011.
KeAndra Berry
KeAndra Berry is Unity Wellness Center’s Medical Office Assistant. KeAndra graduated from Smiths Station High School, Smiths, AL in 2006. She served in the Air Force AD from Apr 2007-Oct 2011, job title, Aerospace Medical Technician (MEDIC). From Nov 2011-Jan 2012, KeAndra receive training in phlebotomy at First Step Health Program in Columbus, GA, through the Medical Regional Center. She then was hired in Mar 2012 as part of the staff at Unity Wellness Center, as the Medical Office Assistant.