Mapping Pathways is a multi-national project to develop and nurture a research-driven, community-led global understanding of the emerging evidence base around the adoption of antiretroviral-based prevention strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The evidence base is more than results from clinical trials - it must include stakeholder and community perspectives as well.

22 October 2011

HIV No Longer a Death Sentence, but Many With HIV Still Undiagnosed, Untreated

via HIV Medicine Association

RWMPC_HIVMA_LogoSignificant strides in therapy and care have transformed HIV from a death sentence into a manageable chronic disease – but only when patients are diagnosed, receive good care and needed services, and take their medication. To ensure that all patients benefit, the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition (RWMPC) today published a policy paper in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases describing the essential components of a comprehensive HIV care program and calling for innovative payment mechanisms and continued public health funding to support this care and expand it those who need it.

Of the nearly 1.1 million people with HIV, 20 percent don’t know they have the disease, and only 50 percent of people with HIV in the United States have reliable access to HIV treatment, which the recent HPTN 052 study showed not only saves lives but dramatically reduces sexual transmission of HIV from an infected partner to an uninfected one. More than 11,000 people still die of AIDS every year and thousands more are in poor health and struggling.

“HIV medicine is an incredible success story, and people with the virus are now living long, full lives thanks to improved therapy and comprehensive care,” said Joel Gallant, MD, lead author of the policy paper and a member of the HIVMA board of directors. “But it’s imperative that people learn their HIV status and get effective treatment. We have good strategies to achieve this, but it requires an integrated team approach, expertise, and a commitment to investing resources upfront that will reduce health care costs over the long-term.”

The president’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are providing an unprecedented opportunity to expand access to effective care shown to improve patients’ health and prevent new infections. But to turn this opportunity into reality, and to sustain the great gains made against this disease, it is critical that the essential components of HIV care be incorporated as health care reform is implemented. The U.S. government-funded Ryan White program has been critical to supporting the HIV care model, but as demand for care grows, innovative payment mechanisms for the Medicaid program, which covers 47 percent of people with HIV in care, are urgently needed. As health coverage is expanded, patients’ lives and our nation’s public health will be at risk if we do not build on the HIV care model and continue successful programs like Ryan White.

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[Content that is linked from other sources is for informational purposes and should not construe a Mapping Pathways position.]

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