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

An Emerging Epidemic: The Public Health Response to Hepatitis C Infection among Young People who Inject Drugs

By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs

Panelists at the NASTAD and Harm Reduction Coalition Congressional Briefing.

Panelists at the NASTAD and Harm Reduction Coalition Congressional Briefing.

Last year, the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (VHPC) in Massachusetts, Dan Church, wrote a post about the increasing rate of acute hepatitis C (HCV) infection among young persons who inject drugs in Massachusetts and the health department’s efforts to prevent new infections, identify existing cases, educate individuals vulnerable to acquisition, and enhance surveillance and data collection to better address the epidemic. Since then, more health departments have reported this trend, especially among young persons who begin using prescription opioids and transition to injecting heroin. Earlier this week, NASTAD partnered with the Harm Reduction Coalition to host a Congressional Briefing, An Emerging Epidemic: The Public Health Response to Hepatitis C Infection among Young People who Use Drugs, to bring this issue to light, educate Congressional staff and reinforce the role of public health in addressing emerging health concerns. Continue reading