Creating a Cross-Continental Exchange of Knowledge to Support Young Women in Ethiopia

By Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Every hour, an estimated 50 young women are newly infected with HIV. In many areas of the world, gender inequalities make it especially difficult for women to access HIV prevention, treatment, and care services.  Even basic information about HIV is unattainable; UNAIDS estimates that only 38% of young women have accurate, comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

This critical issue has not gone unnoticed in Ethiopia, where approximately 380,000 women over the age of 15 are living with HIV (the total population of Ethiopia is over 90 million). In 2009, we at NASTAD Ethiopia began working with the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) to identify ways to support this at-risk population. Knowing that our membership of U.S. state AIDS directors had significant experience in delivery to scale of proven effective behavioral interventions targeting high risk populations through the CDC Diffused Evidence Based Interventions (DEBIs), we leveraged their skills and training expertise to modify and adapt selected DEBIs for implementation in Ethiopia. Continue reading

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

Collaborating with Health Departments to Address the Needs of Native American Transgender Communities

By Lynne Greabell, Director of Member Service and Leadership Development, NASTAD

 Resources for Health Departments Working with Native American Communities

It is important for health departments that have a significant population of Native Americans to address the risk of HIV, STDs and viral hepatitis among Native transgender people. The risk for HIV infection among Native transgender people is evidenced by the fact that higher percentages of Native American GLBTQ youth report high-risk behavior among all youth, that the impacts of co-occurring factors that contribute to HIV risk such as suicides, substance use/abuse and other STDs are higher among Native Transgender people, and that 75% of HIV infections among Native American men were among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2011.

After Five Years, ADAP Waiting Lists Have Been Eliminated

ADAP Watch No Waiting Lists November 2013After Five Years, ADAP Waiting Lists Have Been Eliminated; Unmet Need and Funding Uncertainties Require Continued Commitment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Murray Penner
202-434-8090
mpenner@NASTAD.org

November 25, 2013, Washington, DC – According to NASTAD’s latest ADAP Watch, released today, there are no individuals on AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists in the United States. This represents a significant milestone as there have been individuals on ADAP waiting lists since January 2008. The last state to have a waiting list, South Dakota, was able to transition the remaining 11 individuals on their waiting list into their ADAP program on November 21. Earlier this month, Alabama and Idaho eliminated their waiting lists and lifted their enrollment caps.  Continue reading

How One Health Department is Working with the Transgender Community: A Case Study in Montana

By Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

It would be fair to say that many in Montana, including those in public and private health agencies, would be quite stunned to realize the significant number of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant individuals living in this vast state, even though we are not able to accurately quantify this demographic. As populations that are under-recognized, underserved, stigmatized and at risk for HIV and STD infection, it is imperative that support, services and understanding be generously and vigorously offered.

The Montana HIV Planning Group (HPG) has been a champion in many areas. The group has been a progressive, integrated (HIV prevention, HIV treatment, STD prevention and Hepatitis prevention) HPG for years, and has provided thoughtful consideration during the myriad of changes in HIV prevention interventions and services. In addition, HPG members have been a voice in local communities against stigma and discrimination, and, most recently, agreed that it is vital to examine the health needs of the transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant populations. Continue reading