By Michelle Allen, Associate, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
Today, NASTAD joins in the observation of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) to recognize the impact of HIV on women and girls across the country. Since 2006, this day has been observed to raise awareness and encourage communities to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The facts are clear, of the 50,000 adults and adolescents newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011, one in five was female. Among women, women of color account for nearly two-thirds of new AIDS diagnoses, and at some point in their lifetimes, 1 in 32 Black women and 1 in 106 Latinas will be diagnosed with HIV. Most of these women, roughly 86%, were infected with HIV by having condomless, heterosexual sex. Educating women, across all communities is an important piece of preventing further spread of the epidemic, and that makes this year’s theme, “Share Knowledge. Take Action,” that much more important. Continue reading
By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD
Today, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released key findings of the 2014 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report. The National ADAP Monitoring Project is NASTAD’s long-standing effort to document new developments and challenges facing AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), assessing key trends over time and providing the latest available data on the status of ADAPs. For the last 19 years, NASTAD has provided comprehensive analysis about ADAPs through The Report.
The Report provides an overview of the status of ADAPs as they prepared for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Continue reading
By Amy Killelea, Associate Director, Health Care Access, NASTAD
Insurers in two states – Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Louisiana and North Dakota – have prohibited the acceptance of premium payments from the Ryan White Program/AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) on behalf of eligible low-income clients. These policies risk leaving hundreds of low-income people living with HIV unable to access Qualified Health Plan coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and have prompted a swift federal and state advocacy response.
By Brandon Horsley-Thompson, Participant in the 2013 NASTAD Black Gay Men’s Technical Assistance Meeting
I came into the field of HIV prevention to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s been a long road full of deaths, fighting within the community, mismanagement, and numerous encounters with young Black gay men, who felt like their lives were not worth living. I recently attended NASTAD’s Black Gay Men’s Technical Assistance meeting, jam packed with information about the Affordable Care Act and enrollment, state based population specific HIV continuums of care for Texas and Tennessee, and new advancements in biomedical prevention – PrEP and home testing. The meeting put into context how all of these systems interplay with the health department and its constituents and provided strategies for working with Black gay men in this ever shifting landscape. However, at the beginning of the second day of the meeting, I was asked “What do you need as young Black gay man?” I sat silent for some time. What did I need? Emotionally? Mentally? Support systems? Was the facilitator talking about the collective “you,” as young Black gay men or me individually? I had never considered the question as I had gone about this work, and needless to say, I was stumped. I spoke from the heart. Continue reading
By Isaiah Webster III, Senior Manager, Health Equity/Prevention
Before there was AIDS, there was GRID or “gay-related immune deficiency.” Given the mystery and hysteria of 1982, GRID seemed like an appropriate moniker for an immune system “plague” that seemed to mostly afflict gay men. However, scientists quickly realized that GRID wasn’t a “gay plague” at all; rather it was a social disease capable of afflicting almost anyone. GRID became known as AIDS, caused by a retrovirus known as HIV – the human immunodeficiency virus. Continue reading