By Lynne Greabell, Director of Member Services and Leadership Development, NASTAD
In conjunction with the seventh annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, NASTAD published an issue brief, Native Gay Men and Two Spirit People and HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Programs and Services. The issue brief, developed by NASTAD’s Native American Networking Group (NANG) and Gay Men’s Health Equity Work Group (GMHEWG), provides specific recommendations for health departments to address HIV and viral hepatitis in Native American communities, consistent with the NASTAD and National Coalition for STD Directors’ joint policy statement “Getting to Zero: Scaling-Up Health Department Strategies for Gay Men/MSM.”
Native gay men and Two Spirit people (i.e., men who have sex with men [MSM] or what we would call male-bodied Two-Spirit individuals) face unique and specific challenges and opportunities related to their health and well-being such as stigma and discrimination due to their sexual orientation and gender status. Yet tribal traditions and connections through Two Spirit and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) networking also can serve as protective factors (e.g., opportunities for cultural pride and education about prevention of disease acquisition) for Native gay men and Two Spirit people. Continue reading
By Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD
On March 23, 2010 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Three years later, many reforms are already helping people living with HIV and viral hepatitis access care and treatment:
- AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) contributions now count toward Medicare Part D out-of-pocket spending, helping people living with HIV get through the coverage gap (“donut hole”) quicker.
- Thousands of ADAP clients have been able to access insurance through Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs).
- Private insurance plans are now required to cover a range of preventive services (including services with a United States Preventive Services Task Force grade A or B as well as women’s preventive services) without cost sharing.
- Several states have implemented the Medicaid Health Home program, which allows states to provide care coordination services – such as peer counseling, targeted social services referrals, and treatment management – for people with multiple chronic conditions, including HIV. Continue reading
By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
ACTION: Tell Senators Reid, Mikulski and Shelby to continue critical HIV funding in the FY 13 funding bill.
The $35 million for ADAP Emergency Relief Funding (ERF) awards and $10 million for Ryan White Part C, that President Obama announced on World AIDS Day 2011, is not currently included in the Continuing Resolution (CR) being considered by the Senate that will fund the government for the remainder of FY2013. This funding is currently awarded to 14 states and one territory (AL, AK, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MT, NE, NJ, SD, TN, WA, WI, VI). If this anomaly is not corrected, this funding will not be available for states and Part C clinics during FY2013. If funds aren’t restored, it could lead to an estimated 7,920 clients being removed from ADAP and many Part C funded HIV clinics reducing services and closing their doors to new patients. Continue reading
By Mildred Williamson, HIV/AIDS Section Chief, Illinois Department of Public Health and Amna Osman, Director, Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control, Michigan Department of Community Health
Amna Osman, Director, Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control, Michigan Department of Community Health
Mildred Williamson, HIV/AIDS Section Chief, Illinois Department of Public Health
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day to “Share Knowledge. Take Action.” As public health officials leading the fight against HIV and health inequities in our states, we recognize that the path to ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. must include women and girls. So, today is a day to educate women and girls and their communities about the impact of HIV and offer a clarion call for us to take charge of our health. HIV/AIDS remains a serious public health challenge for women and girls. In 2009, women made up approximately a quarter of individuals living with HIV in the U.S. Furthermore, in 2009, African-American and Latina women accounted nearly three-fourths of new HIV infections among all women in the U.S. For African-American women and girls, the HIV infection rate in 2010 was 20 times that of White women and girls. As the backbone of our communities, women should share their stories and empower our girls and others around us. As said by the great poet Maya Angelou “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Continue reading
By Terrance Moore, Director of Policy and Health Equity, NASTAD
Editor’s Note: Since the publishing of the post below, sequestration has begun to take effect. While the cuts technically start March 1, the true effects of the cuts will not be felt until FY2013 funding is resolved. The federal government is currently funded under a continuing resolution until March 27. Sequestration’s effects will not be felt until final funding awards are made after March 27.
Today, we released a fact sheet on the devastating impact of sequestration on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Sequestration, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts, originally created in the Budget Control Act of 2011, is currently scheduled to take place tomorrow, March 1. Sequestration will result in up to 15,000 clients losing access to life-saving medications they receive via ADAP. Up to half of the people that will be disenrolled live in the South, which as of 2010 accounted for 45 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S. Continue reading