Year in Review: Renewing our Commitment to Public Health

By Dawn Fukuda, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair (Outgoing)

Dawn Fakuda

Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair

As I began my tenure as chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) in May 2013, I was full of energy and optimism. January 1st of 2014 was close at hand, and represented a massive new opportunity to invigorate our response to the HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I was confident based on our experience with state health care reform in my home state of Massachusetts that increased access to medical care through broader insurance coverage would translate into health promotion and disease prevention outcomes that would advance our progress along the HIV Care Continuum. I remain steadfast in my belief that integrating an HIV and viral hepatitis response into primary medical care and reimbursable health services is the way to sustain our efforts into the future; yet the mechanics of the ACA roll out over the past year also provide a striking reminder of the essential and non-transferrable role of public health.

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AIDS Drug Assistance Programs Support New ACA Coverage Options for Thousands of People Living with HIV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2014
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org

AIDS Drug Assistance Programs Support New ACA Coverage Options for Thousands of People Living with HIV

State Health Departments Navigate ACA Enrollment Challenges While Strengthening Insurance Purchasing Infrastructure and Addressing Unmet Need

 Washington, DC – Today, the National Alliance of State

ADAP Clients, June 2013 (Provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation)

ADAP Clients, June 2013 (Provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation)

and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released new data emphasizing the essential role the Ryan White Program, specifically the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), plays for people living with HIV (PLWH), including those who have insurance and those who are uninsured. During the inaugural open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ADAPs transitioned over 25,000 clients to new coverage options. This represents a significant portion of the estimated 56,000 previously uninsured Ryan White clients.[1]

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“We were able to save ourselves and help others.” A Community-Based Approach to ART Adherence in Ethiopia

By Tibebe Shenie, Country Director, NASTAD Ethiopia; Anne Sites, Senior Manager, Global Program, NASTAD; Alan Lifson, University of Minnesota and NASTAD Consultant

Produced by Ben Lifson, Lead Editor; Deborah Dillaway, Videography; Alan Lifson, Producer

Map of Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Arba Minch is a rural town in the foothills of the Rift Valley in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. In addition to the town, many people live in the surrounding villages, supporting themselves through farming and fishing. In SNNPR, the prevalence of HIV among adults is estimated at 1.5%. The Ethiopian government has made a strong commitment to provision of life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), with 249,174 adults and 16,000 children receiving ART as of 2012. However, among those enrolling in HIV care, approximately 25% were no longer retained in care after one year.

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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

The Register’s Editorial: Lawmakers should repeal bad HIV law

By The Register’s Editorial Board

Originally published in The Des Moines Register

The Des Moines Register

The Des Moines Register

Sometimes Iowa lawmakers pursue legislation without a good grasp of the their decisions. That occurred in 1998 when the Legislature gave in to a knee-jerk response to a high-profile national news story about a man from New York who was HIV-positive who had intentionally exposed women to the virus. Continue reading