Heath Care & HIV/AIDS

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Health Care

March 23, 2012, marked the two-year anniversary since the landmark health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama in 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been working to fully implement it.

While the law won’t be fully implemented until 2014, health care reform has already made a number of changes to the structure of health insurance in the United States that make some affordable health insurance options available to LGBT people and their families.

From the lifting of lifetime benefit caps and expanding coverage for children to increased funding for community health centers, the Affordable Care Act is changing how Americans access health care. The Affordable Care Act ensures that, in the future, nobody will be denied health insurance because of pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, cancer, or HIV, and people will be able to search for the most affordable insurance option to suit their specific needs.

On March 22, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and our partners at the Center for American Progress celebrated this milestone in health care with a webinar featuring speakers from HHS and One Colorado, Colorado’s LGBT advocacy organization. We highlighted the ongoing progress the Affordable Care Act is making for LGBT people and their families. If you weren’t able to join us that day, you can watch and listen to the Webinar here:

Audio and Full Text (formatted for Windows)

If you're having trouble viewing the video, here's an MP3 file with just the audio and a PDF of the slides.

 

HIV/AIDS

Though strides have been made in 2009, such as the signing of the reauthorization of the Ryan White HIV Treatment Act and the lifting of the discriminatory ban on travel and immigration to the United States by HIV-positive individuals, much work remains to be done on HIV/AIDS. As the Task Force’s statement on World AIDS Day 2009 noted, every 9 ½ minutes someone contracts HIV in the United States. Every day more than 150 people in the U.S. contract the virus. Said Rea Carey, Task Force executive director:

“World AIDS Day 2009 dawns with signs of hope that our federal response to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic will move forward with dedication to ending the crisis…In addition to treatment access and the lifting of the HIV travel ban, we also need prevention education that specifically targets our most vulnerable people. We need comprehensive sexuality education that shows and tells how to protect ourselves against infection. We need a funded public education campaign to combat the discrimination and stigma experienced by those who seek testing and treatment. We need federal funding for syringe exchange programs. And yes, we still need a coordinated national strategy to identify initiatives and approaches to end the epidemic.”

Meanwhile, HIV/AIDS took center stage at the 2009 Creating Change conference with top leaders in the movement delivering a stirring series of speeches at the panel HIV/AIDS Crisis: This Is What We’re Doing About It! Watch it below:






Other sources for information

AIDS Action

amfAR

National Association of People with AIDS

National Minority AIDS Council