For Immediate Release
San Francisco, January 12 – San Francisco AIDS Foundation urges Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators to re-examine the proposed cuts to HIV/AIDS programs and identify alternate cost-saving measures. In these difficult economic times, the foundation stands with a community of HIV/AIDS leaders prepared to help explore more reasonable solutions to contain costs in state AIDS programs.
The governor’s plan calls for low-income and uninsured HIV-positive people in the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Plan, or ADAP, to share costs. Forcing co-payments for AIDS drugs will ultimately result in people dropping out of the program altogether and will have devastating short and long-term consequences for HIV/AIDS prevention and care in California.
“It’s almost inevitable that people who drop out of the program will reenter the public health care system elsewhere, likely at a time when their health care needs have increased significantly,” said Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, director of state and local affairs. “Evidence shows untreated HIV virus leads to higher rates of HIV transmission and more AIDS cases.”
Cuts to Medi-Cal, including limiting coverage of services and medications and decreasing provider rates, would have a destabilizing effect on the program at a time when it should be preparing for an expansion with the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act in 2014.
“California must capitalize on the momentum of the recent advances in HIV/AIDS and be the first state in the country to end HIV/AIDS,” said Chief Executive Officer Neil Giuliano. “We look forward to working closely with our colleagues in the governor’s office and in the legislature to find other solutions to cut costs so that we can realize this potential.”
As legislative committees hold budget hearings in the coming weeks and months, San Francisco AIDS Foundation will play an active role in voicing the concerns of our clients and HIV-positive people throughout California to ensure everyone has access to proper care and treatment.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to ensure the HIV epidemic ends in the same city where it began. By combining innovative, evidence-based programs for HIV prevention and care with bold policy initiatives focused on issues ranging from harm reduction to total health and wellness, the agency is making sustainable progress against HIV among populations most vulnerable to the disease. Established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.
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