Early Treatment For HIV Act Reintroduced
Posted by pozlife on August 6, 2007
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 3, 2007 – 11:00 am ET
(Washington) A bipartisan bill that advocates say will save lives by allowing states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positive Americans has been reintroduced in Congress.
The bill was filed by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and maintains the 54 original sponsors – evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
This bill addresses a gap in healthcare coverage for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.
Despite the fact that Medicaid is the largest single provider of HIV/AIDS care in the U.S., currently, most adults with HIV are not eligible for Medicaid until they have progressed to full blown AIDS.
Without Medicaid coverage, many low-income Americans are left without the critical care and medication needed to help slow the progression of the disease.
According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, enactment of this legislation would reduce the death rate among individuals on Medicaid living with HIV/AIDS by half over ten years.
“It is time for Congress to pass this common-sense legislation that would save countless lives. It is absolutely unacceptable that there are still Americans who are not able to access life saving medication to combat HIV/AIDS,” said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese.
A meaningful commitment to stemming the epidemic and securing the well-being of people with HIV cannot be met without a guarantee of immediate access to lifesaving medicines, treatment and services for all those newly diagnosed with HIV, New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis said in a statement.
“With more than 40,000 people in the U.S. becoming newly infected each year, early access to life-saving medications and treatment is essential for the health and quality of life for thousands of low-income individuals living with this deadly disease,” said Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.
Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com