How Black Gay Men Are Taking a Lead in the Fight against HIV

By Blake Rowley, Manager, Health Equity and Prevention, NASTAD

White House ONAP Director, Douglas M. Brooks, with Blake Rowley.

White House ONAP Director, Douglas M. Brooks, with Blake Rowley.

The health disparities faced by Black gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have become one of the most salient issues of the day. A number of issue briefs, memoranda, and speeches addressing the State of the Black Gay Union have stated the importance of this issue; however, far less has been done to address the issues this community faces or empower key stakeholders. The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI) is a national coalition of young Black gay, bisexual, same gender loving men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the country addressing issues disproportionately affecting their peers, especially HIV prevention, care and treatment. Additionally, the YBGLI seeks to build and cultivate young leaders within the Black gay community, creating space for more young Black gay men to take the torch when the time comes and continue the fight against HIV. Further, YBGLI seeks to develop the capacity and knowledge of the larger young Black gay male community. Continue reading

ACA Turns Four: Recognizing Successes and Looking Ahead

By Xavior Robinson, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Signing of the ACAMarch 23 marked the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it is undeniable that the ACA’s inaugural open enrollment period has had its share of challenges, it is important to recognize that the movement to ensure that all Americans have equitable access to health care transcends the technology failures of HealthCare.gov. Over the past four years, state HIV/AIDS programs have worked to adapt and innovate to meet needs of people living with HIV and co-occurring conditions in our evolving health care landscape. Through the use of innovative solutions (see Raising the Bars), support from colleagues and staff, and an enduring commitment to the broader public health imperative presented by HIV, state AIDS directors have leveraged the ACA to achieve remarkable results, including: Continue reading

NASTAD Releases Key Findings of the 2014 National AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Monitoring Project Annual Report

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

2014 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual ReportToday, 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

Advocates Continue Push to Require Insurers to Accept Ryan White Payments

By Amy Killelea, Associate Director, Health Care Access, NASTAD

CMS ACA Ryan White Payment Guidance

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.

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A Common Patient Assistance Program Application Form for HIV Medicine: Improved and Available

Cross-posted from AIDS.gov

NASTAD Common HIV Patient Assistance Program Application Form

A new streamlined application form is available to help low-income individuals who are living with HIV access antiretroviral (ARV) medicines through HIV patient assistance programs (PAPs).

Need for a Streamlined Application Form

PAPs are programs operated by pharmaceutical companies to provide free ARV medicines to low-income people living with HIV who do not qualify for insurance or assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). Each individual company has varying eligibility criteria. Most programs have a financial eligibility level of 500% of the Federal Poverty Level, or $57,450 for one person.  Some programs have lower eligibility levels, but many also make exceptions to their eligibility criteria based on the needs of individuals applying for their program. Eligibility levels and other criteria of PAPs can be found on the Positively Aware website or the Fair Pricing Coalition‘s website. Continue reading