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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

Friday is the final day that you can buy health insurance on the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov. Please make sure to purchase your health insurance today. We strongly urge you not wait until Thursday or Friday, when the website may be jammed and unresponsive. In this issue, we run two pieces from our friends at Kaiser …

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 ‘I’ve Never Been This Busy’: As Marketplace Deadline Nears, Navigators Feel The Pinch

Posted in: News, News 2017

When Monica Spalding got the renewal letter from her health insurance company with premium details for the upcoming year, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The insurer estimated that the share of the monthly premium that she and her husband would owe for their marketplace silver plan would go up from the current $28 a month to …

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Desperate For Coverage: Are Short-Term Plans Better Than None At All?

Posted in: News, News 2017

Enrollment 2018 When one of Cindy Holtzman’s clients told the Woodstock, Ga., broker he was considering dropping his Affordable Care Act plan because next year’s cost approached $23,000 for his family of four, she suggested a new option: a back-to-back set of four, 90-day short-term plans, which would effectively give them a modicum of medical …

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Texans With HIV Cope With Homes And Medicines Ruined By Hurricane Harvey

Posted in: News, News 2017

Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeastern Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills. She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. “They were looking and crying, like, ‘We’re gonna lose everything,’” said Soloman. “And I’m like, ‘No, …

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States — And 9M Kids — ‘In A Bind’ As Congress Dawdles On CHIP Funding

Posted in: News, News 2017

Last week, Colorado became the first state to notify families that children who receive health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program are in danger of losing their coverage. Nearly 9 million children are insured through CHIP, which covers mostly working-class families. The program has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, but Congress let federal funding …

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FDA Approves First Two-Drug Regimen for Certain Patients with HIV

Posted in: News, News 2017

Director’s Note from Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., Director, HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy: This news from FDA last week is important since it provides an additional treatment option for many people living with HIV. Even with more than 40 FDA-approved HIV medications, there remains a need for continued research into improved HIV treatment …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

In the middle of the night, under cover of darkness, Republicans in the U.S. senate approved a disastrous tax bill, crafted in secret back rooms that will give large tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans, like Donald Trump and his family; ballooned the national deficit, threatened health care coverage for 13 million men, women, …

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New Online Tool Helps PrEP Users Assess Marketplace Coverage Options

Posted in: News, News 2017

To help individuals using PrEP who are also seeking to get or renew coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace during the current open enrollment period, NASTAD recently launched PrEPcost.org . The site is an online health plan finder that helps PrEP users or navigators identify and compare access to PrEP in Marketplace coverage options. PrEP, …

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Marketplace Confusion Opens Door To Questions About Skinny Plans

Posted in: News, News 2017

Consumers coping with the high cost of health insurance are the target market for new plans claiming to be lower-cost alternatives to the Affordable Care Act that fulfill the law’s requirement for health coverage. But experts and regulators warn consumers to be cautious — and are raising red flags about one set of limited benefit …

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Coming Out. Coming In. Always in a State of Becoming

Posted in: News, News 2017

The question to the room was, “Can coming out be a good thing?” in reference to one’s HIV status or identity. I cleared my throat and readied my answer, but then the moderator stated, “We are out of time!” The delay created an opportunity for me to gather my thoughts about this topic, which is …

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HIV Negative: Last Tested on [Enter Date Here]

Posted in: News, News 2017

“You’re only as negative as your last negative HIV test.” That was something I often said to the people I counseled as an HIV tester. Receiving the result of an HIV test is an incredibly powerful piece of information that gives each of us the ability to take control of our health and our future. …

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Blacks, Elderly Missing From U.S. Cancer Clinical Trials

Posted in: News, News 2017

Four out of five participants in cancer clinical trials are white, a discrepancy that calls into question whether other races and ethnicities are receiving good cancer treatment, researchers say. Women and the elderly also are underrepresented in clinical trials, according to the new findings. Prior studies have shown that the effectiveness of cancer treatment can …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

There are so many things going on in our world right now. Today is #GivingTuesday, so, of course, the BAI needs your help. We are launching a new campaign to help our friends to support the work that we do. The campaign is called “30 Days of Giving: 3 Ways to Give”. In the campaign …

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About A Third Of Americans Unaware Of Obamacare Open Enrollment

Posted in: News, News 2017

While the Affordable Care Act’s fifth open enrollment season is off to a surprisingly good start, many uninsured people said they weren’t even aware of it, according to a survey released Friday. Nearly a third of people overall — including a third of people without health insurance — said they had not heard anything about the …

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People Don’t Fear HIV; They Fear the Stigma Behind It

Posted in: News, News 2017

One in a series of stories written by the 2017 U.S. Conference on AIDS Social Media Fellows. You sit in the cold, hard, metal chair fidgeting with your thumbs, heart racing nonstop because you aren’t sure. You recall all of the times you engaged in unsafe sexual practices over the last three to six months. …

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10 Things to Know About HIV Suppression

Posted in: News, News 2017

Development of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV has turned what was once an almost always fatal infection into a manageable chronic condition. Daily antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to levels that are undetectable with standard tests. Staying on treatment is crucial to keep the virus suppressed. NIAID-supported research has …

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On Track But Continued Progress Needed on HIV Viral Suppression to Achieve Our Nation’s Goal

Posted in: News, News 2017

The science is clear: recent scientific advances in our understanding of the impact of HIV treatment have shown that achieving and maintaining viral suppression improves the health of those living with HIV and prevents the transmission of new infections. Further, data modeling shows that achieving viral suppression among people living with HIV is the single …

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30 days of Giving: Three ways to give to the Black AIDS Institute

Posted in: News, News 2017

2017 has been a year of tremendous uncertainty in HIV. From the never-ending attacks on the Affordable Care Act, to potential decreases the allocation of funds to the CDC, HRSA and other HIV/AIDS funding sources, the promise of ending the AIDS epidemic seems further away today than it did a year ago. The Black AIDS …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

Last week, House Republicans passed a tax-reform bill that increases insurance premiums for millions of Americans and cuts Medicare by $25 billion. Senate Republicans are working on a bill that eliminates the individual mandate and will, in effect, sabotage the Affordable Care Act and cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance. Let’s be clear: …

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Obamacare Shopping Is Trickier Than Ever. Here’s A Cheat Sheet

Posted in: News, News 2017

Health care is complicated. Shopping for an individual health plan just got even more so, with President Donald Trump’s decision last month to block $7 billion in Affordable Care Act subsidies. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), these federal funds had helped insurers offset the costs of the discounts they are required to offer to …

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House Tax Bill Would Scrap Deduction For Medical Expenses

Posted in: News, News 2017

The tax bill unveiled by Republicans in the House would not, as had been rumored, eliminate the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. But it would eliminate a decades-old deduction for people with very high medical costs. The controversial bill is an effort by Republicans to revamp the nation’s tax code and provide dramatic tax …

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How to Turn Back the Threat of HCV

Posted in: News, News 2017

Although Black Americans are making gains in the fight against HIV, we are not doing nearly as well when it comes to hepatitis. That was the message conveyed at a Brown Bag Lunch Webinar hosted by the Black AIDS Institute in October 2017. New infections of the most common type of hepatitis, the hepatitis C virus (HCV), …

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National Healthcare Access Coalition Launches 17 City National Black Healthcare Access Tour

Posted in: News, News 2017

A national healthcare coalition comprised of 15 national organizations and networks launches a 17 city Demand Access: Black Healthcare Access Tour to raise awareness about the importance of healthcare access in Black communities, mobilize communities to respond to recent threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), and help individuals sign up for insurance during the 2017 ACA …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

From Andrea Jenkins, who became first openly transgender African-American woman elected to the city council of a major U.S. city (Minneapolis), to Vi Lyles, the first Black woman mayor of Charlotte, to Maine voters approving Medicaid expansion for that state, last week’s election ushered in what experts have described as a “tsunami” of change, as …

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Election Night Surprise: Health Care Galvanizes Voters

Posted in: News, News 2017

Health care appears to have played an unexpectedly robust role in Tuesday’s off-year elections, as Democrats swept statewide races in Virginia and New Jersey and voters told pollsters it was a top concern. The health headline of the night came in Maine, where voters by a large margin rebuked Republican Gov. Paul LePage and approved a …

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Poll: 70 Percent of Marketplace Enrollees Satisfied With Obamacare

Posted in: News, News 2017

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) revealed that 70 percent of health-insurance-marketplace enrollees are satisfied with their health-care coverage, a clear repudiation of President Donald Trump’s attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act. The ACA open-enrollment period started Nov. 1 and will end Dec. 15 for residents of the states that participate …

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Reducing Bias and Increasing PrEP

Posted in: News, News 2017

A study published in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs in April 2017 indicates that physicians who prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) do not see an increase in risky sexual behaviors in their patients. Previously, some doctors feared that prescribing PrEP would encourage their patients to engage to riskier sexual practices and reduce their condom …

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Black AIDS Institute Launches Black Health Matters Initiative and 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour

Posted in: News, News 2017

The Black AIDS Institute (BAI), in partnership with other national organizations is launching the 2017 National Healthcare Access Tour to engage Black communities across the country in the fight for equal access to healthcare. The tour is designed to increase awareness about the Afforable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation. The ACA has …

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Beyond Stigma And Bias, Many Transgender People Struggle With Mental Health

Posted in: News, News 2017

Beyond Stigma And Bias, Many Transgender People Struggle With Mental Health. Diana Feliz Oliva, a 45-year-old transgender woman who grew up outside Fresno, Calif., remembers being bullied when she was younger and feeling confused about her gender identity. She was depressed and fearful about being found out, and she prayed every night for God to …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

Last week, open enrollment began for health insurance sold on the federal health insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov. Only 38 days remain until the marketplace closes. With the enrollment period cut in half, the budget for navigators slashed and the site down for maintenance for 12 hours each weekend, it is important that you shop for health …

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5 Things To Know About ACA At Year 5

Posted in: News, News 2017

Open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance starts Wednesday and ends Dec. 15 this year. That’s 45 days, six weeks shorter than last year — and only one of the big changes consumers need to consider. The Trump administration has cut back on marketing and funding for navigators to help people through …

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How the CHIP Stalemate Hurts Black Children

Posted in: News, News 2017

A program that provides a safety net for more than 8 million children, and more than half of all Black children, has become the latest casualty in the war to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACT). The Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plays a critically important role in coverage for children of color, whose families …

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Are HIV and AIDS Poised for a Comeback?

Posted in: News, News 2017

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The advent of powerful drugs in the mid-1990s brought remarkable gains in survival for HIV patients who had access to the medications. But a team of experts now warns that the global HIV pandemic continues and is at risk of expanding, given the worrisome global rise of HIV …

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What Does Our Past Tell Us About Our Future? The Essential Role of Psychologists in Fighting HIV

Posted in: News, News 2017

Since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, psychologists have been essential in the response to HIV: They offered mental health support for people living with, or at risk for, HIV—as well as for their families and communities, and those who provide HIV medical care and social services. Psychologists developed programs to educate people about …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

Wednesday, November 1, is the first day of Open Enrollment for health insurance offered under the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, through the federal health-insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov. But if you shop for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, you are going to have to work much harder to get what is legally available to you. The Trump administration has …

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ACA Enrollment 2018: What You Need to Know

Posted in: News, News 2017

One in an ongoing series of articles about the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has cut the number of uninsured Black Americans in half. But changes to the enrollment period for 2018 under the Trump administration could undermine efforts and wipe out much of that …

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Enrollment News To Bank On: Obamacare Is Still Here So It’s Time For Coverage Checkup

Posted in: News, News 2017

The open enrollment period begins tomorrow for 2018 marketplace coverage, but many consumers are confused about what to expect. No wonder! The Trump administration has slashed advertising and outreach about open enrollment, so concrete consumer information is sparse. But there’s more than enough political rhetoric to make up for it, with regular partisan pronouncements that …

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Despite GOP Efforts To Corral Medicaid Spending, States Expand Benefits

Posted in: News, News 2017

While congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump have been seeking major cuts in federal funding of Medicaid, 26 states this year expanded or enhanced benefits and at least 17 plan to do so next year, according to a recent report. The increased benefits were largely for mental health and substance abuse treatment, but states also …

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Falling Behind: More Focus Needed on Retaining People in HIV Care

Posted in: News, News 2017

If you had an illness that required medical treatment for the rest of your life, how easy would it be for you to take your medication 365 days a year, refill your prescriptions, and never miss a medical appointment? Have you ever just completely forgotten to do something? Have you ever skipped an appointment because …

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Blacks, Elderly Missing From U.S. Cancer Clinical Trials

Posted in: News, News 2017

Four out of five participants in cancer clinical trials are white, a discrepancy that calls into question whether other races and ethnicities are receiving good cancer treatment, researchers say. Women and the elderly also are underrepresented in clinical trials, according to the new findings. Prior studies have shown that the effectiveness of cancer treatment can …

Read More

In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

As we reported last week, President Trump has engaged in a full-on assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, and Americans who desperately need access to health care. Let’s review: In recent weeks, the president undermined access to contraceptive services for women and protections against discrimination based on gender and sexual …

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Trump Moves to Cripple the Affordable Care Act Enrollment Period

Posted in: News, News 2017

The Trump administration seems laser-focused on crippling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even as millions of Americans prepare to take part in the open-enrollment period to sign up for health coverage beginning Nov. 1, 2017. The passage of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, significantly increased the number of Americans who had health-care coverage and …

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Trump’s Latest Executive Order Is The Greatest Threat To Obamacare So Far

Posted in: News, News 2017

President Donald Trump just delivered two more gut punches to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an ongoing effort to knock out President Barack Obama’s legacy. On the same day that Trump signed an executive order crafted to open up the health insurance marketplace to barely there plans that may leave people living with pre-existing conditions, like …

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While Trump Moves To Dismantle Health Law, Public Favors Repair

Posted in: News, News 2017

President Donald Trump has collided with a wave of public disagreement by moving to strip the Affordable Care Act of provisions intended to keep insurance prices stable. In a poll conducted before Trump’s announcement of unilateral changes to the law, 71 percent of the public said they preferred the administration try to make the law work rather …

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Positioning Topical HIV Prevention for the Future

Posted in: News, News 2017

Microbicides have been viewed as an important and potentially revolutionary way to protect women and men from sexual acquisition of HIV. Investigational preventive microbicides contain anti-HIV drugs, and are applied to the vagina via sponges, gels, creams, rings or suppositories, and the rectum via douches, gels or creams. These types of delivery mechanisms allow for …

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‘Partisan’ Gerrymandering Is Still About Race

Posted in: News, News 2017

The Wisconsin case before the Supreme Court claims to be about partisanship. But race is a factor in this case and many others nationwide. The Wisconsin voting rights case before the Supreme Court has been cast as the definitive test of whether partisan gerrymandering is permitted by the Constitution. But a closer look at the …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2017

President Trump has made it clear. He is committed to destroying the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare/ACA) thereby taking healthcare away from millions of Americans and destabilizing the health insurance market in the country. Over the last few weeks the President has taken a number of steps to kill the ACA including, cutting in half the …

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Trump Acting Solo: What You Need To Know About Changes To The Health Law

Posted in: News, News 2017

Apparently frustrated by Congress’ inability to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump this week decided to take matters into his own hands. Late Thursday evening, the White House announced it would cease key payments to insurers. Earlier on Thursday, Trump signed an executive order aimed at giving people who buy their own insurance …

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