HIV Treatment and Care: From Approval to Access
Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the response in the United States to this devastating crisis has been primarily emotional and often cruel -- denial, disgust, neglect, fear, and blame. Only rarely has our country addressed the epidemic as the true healthcare crisis that it is. Like the rest of our healthcare system, benefits and medical services for most people with HIV come from a variety of fractured and piecemeal sources, often with cumbersome eligibility requirements. This issue of ACRIA Update includes articles by respected advocates about these sources for services, medical care, and treatment. The content of these articles was primarily driven by questions people with HIV ask during ACRIA's treatment education workshops.
In the last year, there has been a fair amount of media coverage about the approximately 1,600 people on waiting lists for the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) in various states. What isn't widely discussed is that the non-profit Institute of Medicine released a report last May estimating that nearly 59,000 people with HIV in the United States currently need antiretroviral treatment but have no access to it. In part, this is due to the fact that many people can't even get on an ADAP waiting list since the income requirements are so low in many states.
The goal of this issue of ACRIA Update isn't only to provide information. Access to healthcare for most people with HIV is more precarious now than ever. We hope that the resources included in the issue and the actions suggested by the writers will inspire more people to advocate for a comprehensive system of healthcare in the United States that not only serves the needs of people with HIV but everyone in need of care.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.