Safety-net clinics especially are bracing for how the drugmaker’s policy shift could reduce their budgets and hamstring their ability to provide care to an at-risk population.
Public health resources have shifted from one pandemic to the other, and experts fear steep declines in testing and diagnoses mean more people will contract HIV and die of AIDS.
Most private insurance will be required to cover drugs, like Truvada, that offer protection against HIV infection, without making plan members share the cost.
President-elect Joe Biden inherits a global health landscape changed by the Trump administration more than under any Republican president since Ronald Reagan.
For those who are sexually active, condoms are widely recognized as the most effective method for preventing HIV and other diseases, if used correctly. But a fact sheet with “unapproved condom imagery” was taken down from a federal website, KHN has learned.
KHN Midwest editor and correspondent Laura Ungar shares her expertise on Vice President Mike Pence’s public health track record as he leads the nation’s novel coronavirus response. Ungar covered a 2015 Indiana HIV outbreak and its fallout amid Pence’s tenure as governor.
In February 2015, an unprecedented HIV outbreak fueled by intravenous drug use hit the small city of Austin, Indiana. Under pressure, then-Gov. Mike Pence reluctantly allowed a syringe exchange. Five years later, HIV is undetectable in most of the outbreak patients. Still, the lessons haven’t been learned nationwide. Fewer than a third of the 220 counties deemed by the federal government as vulnerable to similar outbreaks have active syringe-exchange programs.
Chinese doctors and public health officials are turning to a variety of drugs as they seek an effective treatment for patients sickened by the novel coronavirus. The evidence behind some of these medicines is flimsy, researchers acknowledge, but human trials are the only way to know whether these drugs work.
Indiana was ground zero for shifting ideas about needle exchanges after a small town had an HIV outbreak in 2015 brought on by needle-sharing. But even as other parts of the country start to embrace needle exchanges amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, the sites remain controversial in Indiana. Only nine of the state’s 92 counties have them, after a series of closures and reopenings.
Called “Ready, Set, PrEP,” the federal program will provide medication that can reduce the chances of getting AIDS to at-risk patients who don’t have insurance.