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.

Continue reading

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]

Continue reading

“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.

Continue reading

One Year of HIV Case-based Surveillance in Guyana: Celebrating Successes and Recognizing Challenges

By Anna Carroll, Senior Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Sunil and Homechand are both HIV Volunteer Counseling and Testing (VCT) counselors in the Berbice region of Guyana, one of the more developed and populated regions in the country. Despite major funding challenges in the region, Sunil and Homechand continue to demonstrate their commitment to combatting the epidemic and improving the health of the Berbice population, testing between 70 and 100 people each month for HIV.       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