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April 22, 2011

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A Bridge for ADAPs to 2014: A National Conversation

By Vera Yakovchenko, Public Health Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Red AIDS Ribbon

On April 7, 2011, on behalf of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, I attended “A Bridge for ADAPs to 2014: A National Conversation,” an event hosted by Dr. E. Blaine Parrish, Associate Dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together a broad range of stakeholders to discuss the anticipated impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (ACA) on the  AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and to identify options that will allow ADAPs to meet growing demands for services, in advance of the full implementation of ACA in 2014. 

This important conversation took place among  representatives from national and local HIV service organizations, state AIDS directors and coordinators, HIV clinicians, administrators from health care facilities, national ADAP experts,  pharmaceutical industry representatives, and community advocates. The meeting covered topics revolving around implementation of the ACA, how ADAPs operate, and “environmental” changes on the horizon that will impact HIV/AIDS service delivery. With ADAPs continuing to experience increased demand, these types of conversations are  critical to begin formulating how ADAPs will move forward within the context of the implementation of the ACA.

Highlights of the meeting included discussions around the anticipated health impacts of ACA on uninsured and underinsured individuals, ADAP funding needs, client medication access issues, other sources of coverage for ADAP clients, Ryan White Reauthorization in 2013, and efforts to address  policy and program challenges. While many lingering questions remain, this meeting stimulated conversations on the many facets of the current ADAP situation and the Ryan White program reauthorization in light of the ACA. The meeting organizers promised to provide a summary of the discussion to share with  others in the HIV community and the larger health care and policy communities.

 

March 23, 2011

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One Year: The Affordable Care Act

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

Affordable Care Act

A year ago this week, President Obama signed the landmark Affordable Care Act into law.  In just one year, the Affordable Care Act has already given Americans more freedom and control over their health care choices. The Affordable Care Act is working to lower health care costs for families and businesses. It also is working to make access to the health insurance system fairer – now health coverage is more secure and Americans have more options. Read more about how the Affordable Care Act impacts people living with HIV/AIDS.

Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and watch the video with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

February 24, 2011

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A Call to Action: Leveraging Private Sector Support for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Melody C. Barnes, President’s Domestic Policy Adviser; Director, Domestic Policy Council (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

When President Obama released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF 1.2MB) in July 2010, he said, “The Federal government can’t do this alone, nor should it.  Success will require the commitment of governments at all levels, businesses, faith communities, philanthropy, the scientific and medical communities, educational institutions, people living with HIV, and others.” 

Clearly, success at achieving our aggressive goals in the Strategy depends not only on Federal leadership, but new investments and new partnerships from all parts society.  We know that some of our biggest successes in fighting HIV/AIDS have come about because of private sector initiatives, and we’ve called on businesses and foundations to provide that next level of leadership by stepping up their efforts in a few targeted areas.  We want to hear about your successful partnerships and new ideas for working together.

Priority areas where private sector partners can help us to achieve the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals are:

  • Bridging the gap in access to HIV medications:  Over the past year, a growing challenge has arisen as an increasing number of people living with HIV are placed on waiting lists for state operated AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP).  Most states have managed to avoid imposing these waiting lists, but nearly 6,500 people in 11 states are currently on waiting lists.  Even states without these lists have had to make difficult decisions such as to restrict the scope of drug coverage available or to limit the income standards of people who qualify for assistance. The Federal government has a role to play in responding to this situation and states must remain committed to investing in these programs, but we need the continued commitment from our private sector partners to weather the economic downturn that is afflicting many parts of the country.  Pharmaceutical companies and related charitable organizations have maintained patient assistance programs that provide critical aid to those in need.  We are appreciative that these companies have maintained and increased their commitments in this area.  Foundations have also helped to support community efforts to bolster state investments in programs providing HIV medications.

Continue reading "A Call to Action: Leveraging Private Sector Support for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy" »

February 15, 2011

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Agency Operational Plans and the President’s FY 2012 Budget Highlight Our Continued Efforts to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Jeffrey S. Crowley, M.P.H., Director, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

One of the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was to refocus existing efforts and deliver better results to the American people within current funding levels, as well as make the case for new investments. The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) is excited to share some of the progress the Obama Administration has made over the last few months.

Last July, when we released the Strategy, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum that directed six lead agencies (Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs) to submit agency operational plans for implementing the Strategy. He also directed the Department of Defense, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of State to provide recommendations for implementing the Strategy.

ONAP is pleased to release the plans developed by the agencies, as well as an overview report that we produced to demonstrate the synergies achieved by having all of the lead agencies work toward shared goals. The ONAP Overview Report and the individual plans themselves can all be accessed at www.AIDS.gov.

Continue reading "Agency Operational Plans and the President’s FY 2012 Budget Highlight Our Continued Efforts to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy" »

October 14, 2010

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National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

By Kevin Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., FFPH, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC (Cross-posted from Health Protection, Perspectives Blog)

Health Protection Perspectives

October 15 is the eighth annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a day to take action to stop the spread of HIV in Latino communities across the United States.

Founded by the Latino Commission on AIDS Exit Disclaimer, NLAAD focuses on how Latinos can work together to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the community. This year's theme "Save A Life; It May Be Your Own" urges Hispanics/Latinos to get tested for HIV, which is critical to preventing the spread of HIV.

Continue reading "National Latino AIDS Awareness Day" »

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