Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient Assistance Programs and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

Patient Assistance ProgramsThe treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and/or restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face in accessing health care services.  Continue reading

Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTADPatient Assistance Programs

The treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face when accessing health care services. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes an unprecedented expansion of access to both private and public health insurance, the cost of insurance (i.e., premiums, co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles) remain too high for some individuals, even with the availability of federal subsidies. Continue reading

Six Lessons for Health Departments Using PrEP as an HIV Prevention Tool

By Dave Kern, ‎Manager, Infectious Disease Prevention Section at Washington State Department of Health

Dave Kern

Dave Kern

In Washington State, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection, and what it means for our work. We’ve been inspired to acknowledge our fears, both known and hidden, and to seize the hope and promise that’s evolving before our eyes. We’ve given ourselves space to be curious, to make mistakes and to be OK with not creating the perfect plan. More importantly, we’ve made the decision to act, even as we continue to define our commitment. Continue reading

No More Silos – PrEP is One Component of Gay Men’s Sexual Health: A Health Department Approach to PrEP

By Barry Callis, Director of Behavioral Health and Infectious Disease Prevention, Office of HIV/AIDS, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Dawn Fukuda, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Bureau of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Barry Callis and Dawn Fukuda

Barry Callis and Dawn Fukuda

Many of us in the Office of HIV/AIDS at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) were huddled excitedly around our computer screens when the first reports of success from the iPrEx clinical trial were released. It was December of 2010, and at long last, we had confirmed proof that an antiviral medicine (Truvada) could protect against HIV infection before exposure, and that it worked for gay and bisexual men and transgender women. It was a possibility we had only dreamed of in the early 1990’s, when effective antiretrovirals were first widely available as treatment. Continue reading

How New York is Using Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to End HIV

By Dan O’Connell, Director, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

The AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

The AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

In June of this year, New York’s Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced a plan to bring HIV below epidemic levels in New York State by 2020. In this plan, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is identified as one of three key strategies for reducing new HIV infections to sub-epidemic levels, and is a great example of how health departments can bring the domestic HIV epidemic to its end within a rapidly changing system of HIV prevention and care services and raising the bars of the HIV care continuum. Continue reading