Tag Archives: AIDS

Health insurance discrimination persists for those with HIV, cancer and other conditions, despite ACA

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Over the past two years, patient advocacy groups, researchers and consultants have said health insurers have discriminated against their members with high-cost conditions.

A number of journalists have covered these stories. The Marketplace’s Tim Fitzsimons reported in June that the federal Department of Health and Human Services was addressing complaints against insurers whose benefit programs were designed to drive away members with costly pre-existing conditions. Wes Venteicher of the Chicago Tribune reported on efforts by health insurer Coventry to make HIV treatments more affordable after patient advocates complained that costs for HIV drugs were too high. Continue reading

Despite progress fighting HIV, most vulnerable still at risk #ahcj15

Anna Gorman

About Anna Gorman

Anna Gorman (@AnnaGorman) is a senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News. She attended Health Journalism 2015 on an AHCJ-California Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by The California HealthCare Foundation.


Pia Christensen/AHCJSharon Hillier, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discusses the pre-exposure prophylaxis pill, or PrEP, which can help prevent HIV infection.

HIV prevention and treatment have undergone a revolution since the disease first appeared, but there are still barriers to reaching the most at-risk populations, HIV experts said during a session at Health Journalism 2015.

While HIV patients in 1985 had a life expectancy of at most 10 years, now they are living into old age and are more likely to die from smoking, said Brad Hare, director of HIV care and prevention at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco.

Researchers are working toward a cure and people without HIV can take a prevention pill to keep them from becoming infected. Continue reading

Focus is on closing the gap, ending stigma for World AIDS Day 2014

Kris Hickman

About Kris Hickman

Kris Hickman (@the_index_case) is a graduate research assistant for AHCJ, pursuing a master’s degree in public health. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology, with a minor in journalism, from the University of Missouri. She spent two years in Zambia as an HIV/AIDS community education volunteer in the Peace Corps. She aspires to be an epidemiologist and science writer.

Today is the 26th Annual World AIDS Day. This year, the theme for World AIDS Day is “Close The Gap,” with United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon setting a bold goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

According the World Health Organization, about 35 million people have HIV/AIDS worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with approximately 70 percent of new infections worldwide occurring there. In the U.S., approximately 1.2 million people live with HIV − and an estimated one out of seven of those are not aware they are infected. Continue reading

Extensive coverage of AIDS 2012 available online

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The XIX International AIDS Conference is under way in Washington, D.C., this week.

As in past years, Kaiser Family Foundation is providing extensive coverage and webcasts from the conference. All coverage will be archived on the organization’s website. For those of you running your own websites, they have made a plethora of widgets and feeds available for other sites and blogs to display headlines and webcasts from the conference.

Speakers expected to address the conference include former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates, musician and humanitarian Elton John, actress Whoopi Goldberg and others.

AIDS conference coverage online

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Once again, the Kaiser Family Foundation is offering extensive coverage of the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Today’s program features sessions about people with HIV and tuberculosis; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; HIV testing; the role of families in prevention, treatment and care; policies and measure ins Europe and more.

The Foundation is offering webcasts of sessions and interviews with newsmakers, as well as daily observations from Science magazine reporter Jon Cohen.

The conference website include slides, audio synched to the slides, rapporteur reports, links to abstracts and webcasts.

In related news, health journalists have been discussing an embargo break on a study that was presented at the conference. AHCJ board member and Reuters Health Editor Ivan Oransky has covered the situation here and here on his Embargo Watch blog.

Ohio, other states cut HIV/AIDS drug subsidies

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Plain Dealer‘s Diane Suchetka says that rising medication costs and demand driven by the swelling ranks of the jobless have forced an Ohio state program to stop providing free HIV/AIDS medication to about 1,000 of its 5,000 customers.

Folks earning between 300 percent and 500 percent of the federal poverty line will be cut outright, and even those who remain with the program will find it more difficult to get secondary services such as dental coverage, rent subsidies and certain medical conditions. Their all-important antiretroviral drugs, however, will still be free.

The cutbacks will hit new applicants as well, as the state will now consider both the income and the medical condition of the patient. In the past, all that was needed was a qualifying income and, presumably, a positive diagnosis. “New clients who don’t qualify for medical reasons will be placed on a waiting list,” Suchetka writes.

Ohio isn’t the only state making these cuts. Others — including Arkansas, North Dakota, Utah and Washington — have trimmed their programs, too, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS directors. And, as of July 1, more than 2,000 people in 11 states were on waiting lists for medication assistance, according to the nonprofit agency.