U.S. Senate’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill is certain to wreak havoc on US fight against HIV/AIDS. Bill is unveiled a day after AIDSVu’s latest heat map of HIV incidence county-by-county nationwide shows epidemic’s growing reach, particularly in the South.
WASHINGTON (June 22, 2017) In response to the release of the U.S. Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) earlier today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, released the following statement:
“From what we can see today, the changes to Medicaid put forth in the Senate version of the American Health Care Act will be gasoline on the fire of the US AIDS epidemic,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Medicaid is the main safety net program for low-income people, with or without HIV, and cutting this program will have devastating impacts on individuals, communities and the entire healthcare system. It was not that many years ago that we had long wait lists for ADAP, which will undoubtedly return if Medicaid is drastically cut. AHF urges the U.S. Senate to go back to the drawing board and work on a measure that provides health care coverage for all Americans. This current draft would create a public health disaster especially for people living with HIV and those most at risk for acquiring HIV.”
The Senate bill was unveiled a day after AIDSVu’s latest heat map showing the incidence of HIV in the US county by county nationwide was released. AIDSVu is a project run by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with biotech company, Gilead Sciences, which has been mapping HIV by county since 2010. AIDSVu’s latest heat map documents the epidemic’s devastation in the South as well as many of the states that have chosen to opt out of Medicaid expansion.