Journal Article

AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in the Era of Routine HIV Testing

Kenneth H. Mayer, Ingrid V. Bassett, Claire Farel, Emily D. Szmuilowicz and Rochelle P. Walensky

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 47, issue 5, pages 695-701
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/590936
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in the Era of Routine HIV Testing

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AIDS [Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome] Drug Assistance Programs, operating within the larger Ryan White Program, are state-based, discretionary programs that provide a drug “safety net” for low-income and uninsured individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and the primary care system that provides care for patients with HIV infection are already financially stressed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued guidelines recommending universal HIV testing to help identify the estimated 300,000 individuals in the United States who are unaware that they are infected with HIV. As the number of people living with HIV/AIDS who are coinfected with hepatitis C virus has grown and the cost and complexity of care have increased, the sustainability of the current HIV care system requires a reevaluation in light of the new testing guidelines. We examine the current state of the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, discuss the implications of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the already overstretched Ryan White Program, and consider a federally supported national program to ensure high-quality, efficient HIV care for low-income HIV-infected Americans.

Journal Article.  4735 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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