People Living With HIV Feed

October 01, 2010


HHS Awards $3.5 Million to Expand HIV/AIDS Care Capacity for Minorities

By Miguel Gomez, Director (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Earlier this month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced two grants totaling more than $3.5 million to reach beyond the Ryan White Program – the federally funded program that provides care and treatment to about half a million Americans living with HIV/AIDS – and provide expanded care and treatment for minority patients that have been impacted by the disease.

The first three-year grant, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will provide $2.975 million to HealthHIV Exit Disclaimer, based in Washington, DC, to improve and enhance the organizational capacity of community health centers across the nation to provide culturally competent, compassionate, high-quality, and life sustaining HIV care and treatment to racial and ethnic minorities living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The grant will support a new AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) National Center for Expansion of HIV CARE in Minority Communities.

HRSA supports a nationwide network of more than 7,900 health centers. These centers provide quality primary care to almost 19 million medically underserved people – about 40 percent of them have no health insurance.  Everyone who enters the door is served; no one is ever turned away. These health centers represent one of the nation's best primary health care delivery models.  With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, health centers received a tremendous boost. The Act provides $11 billion over the next five years for the operation, expansion and construction of health centers throughout the nation. This will create the largest expansion of community health centers in the program's history and make it possible to nearly double the number of patients they serve. To find a health center near you, use this locator.

More than 1,100 health center grantees operate more than 7,900 community-based clinics in every state and territory, giving geographically isolated or economically distressed people access to preventive and primary health care. These HRSA-supported health centers treated nearly 19 million people in 2009, approximately two-thirds of whom are members of minority groups. Forty percent have no health insurance; a third are children. (To find a health center near you, use this locator.)

The second grant was awarded to Howard University Exit Disclaimer, a historically Black college located in Washington, DC. The three-year grant of $550,000 establishes the AETC National Multicultural Center. The Center will provide training and technical assistance designed to increase cross-cultural awareness and competency among health care professionals and facilities serving the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.

“These grants will support the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy by expanding capacity at the community level, facilitating linkages to care and increasing the available providers to serve people living with HIV,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

September 23, 2010


HIV in the City

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

Today, CDC released a new study of HIV prevalence and unrecognized infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 21 major U.S. cities, based on an analysis of data from the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS). Overall, researchers found that approximately one in five (19 percent) MSM was infected with HIV and nearly half (44 percent) of those men were unaware of their infection.

The study, published in the September 24 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that young MSM and MSM of color were least likely to know of their infection. Fifty-nine percent of black MSM, and 46% of Hispanic MSM were unaware of their infection, compared to 26% of white MSM. Furthermore, young MSM (aged 18-29) – especially young MSM of color – were far more likely to be unaware of their HIV infection than their older counterparts.

Continue reading "HIV in the City" »

September 13, 2010


Affordable Care Act and People Living with HIV/AIDS

By Miguel Gomez, Director

Today is the second day of the U.S. Conference on AIDS and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be speaking at the lunch-time plenary session. We will be following up later today with a blog post about the session, but wanted to share with you a summary sheet, “How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact People Living with HIV/AIDS?” (PDF 450 KB) that was prepared for USCA attendees.

July 09, 2010


HHS Reallocates $25 Million to Extend Care to People on ADAP Waiting List

Guest post by Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Mary Wakefield, HRSA

Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN

Improving access to care and treatment for people living with HIV is a top priority for President Obama and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the reallocation of $25 million for AIDS drug assistance to States that have AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists or have implemented strategies to contain costs and delay or prevent a waiting list. This action will provide states with additional resources to improve access to critical HIV/AIDS prescription drugs. This new funding is in addition to the more than $800 million already specifically allocated to the ADAP Program this year.

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This program funds primary health care, support services and life-saving medications for more than a half-million low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS each year.

Continue reading "HHS Reallocates $25 Million to Extend Care to People on ADAP Waiting List" »

March 29, 2010


Medicare Expands Coverage for Treating Facial Lipodystrophy Syndrome in People Living With HIV

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a press release to announce its decision to cover facial injections for Medicare beneficiaries who experience symptoms of depression due to the stigmatizing appearance of severely hollowed cheeks resulting from the drug treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The decision, that was announced on March 23, 2010 was effective immediately.

According to a CMS press release,“facial lipodystrophy (LDS) can leave people living with HIV looking gaunt and seriously ill, which may stigmatize them as part of their HIV-infection status. Individuals who take these medications and experience facial LDS side effects may suffer psychological effects related to a negative self-image. These effects may lead people living with HIV to discontinue their antiretroviral therapies. The new decision allows for treatment of individuals who experience symptoms of depression due to the appearance changes from facial LDS.”

Last week’s decision “marks an important milestone in Medicare’s coverage for HIV-infection therapies,” said Barry M. Straube, M.D., CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Agency’s Office of Clinical Standards & Quality. “Helping people living with HIV improve their self-image and comply with anti-HIV treatment can lead to better quality of life and, ultimately, improve the quality of care that beneficiaries receive.”

Access the complete press release and the final decision on the CMS website.


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