AIDS

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The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s headquarters in Tallahassee were the site Thursday of the third demonstration in as many days by supporters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Medicaid Patients With HIV May Lose Coverage In Miami

Apr 10, 2018
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Medicaid patients living with HIV in South Florida might need to find new health insurance.

WMFE

The largest nonprofit AIDS health-care provider in the nation is at risk of being blocked out of South Florida’s Medicaid market.

When people started to show up to Dr. William Cooke's primary care office in Austin, Ind., in 2014 with HIV, Cooke knew it was probably related to the region's opioid epidemic. But what he and the rest of the public health community didn't know was who they were missing or how long the HIV outbreak had been going on.

World AIDS Day has been celebrated every Dec. 1 since 1988 as a day of remembrance for those whot have died of and those who are living with the disease. There were many events to mark the day in South Florida, from open-air concerts to free testing.  But experts and activists agree that the discussions about treatment and prevention of HIV should be part of an ongoing conversation in the community and not a once-a-year affair. 

World AIDS Day is Friday, but the City of Jacksonville is dedicating the whole week to awareness, beginning Monday with the unfurling of parts of the AIDS Memorial quilt.


The health insurer Aetna is facing criticism for revealing the HIV status of potentially thousands of customers after it sent out a mailer in which information about ordering prescription HIV drugs was clearly visible through the envelope's clear window.

For example, in a letter sent to a customer in Brooklyn, N.Y., the window revealed considerably more than the address. It also showed the beginning of a letter advising the customer about options "when filling prescriptions for HIV Medic ... "

Duval County has one of the highest rates of AIDS and HIV infection in the country. More than 6,000 people in Jacksonville are infected, and the number is growing. To combat the problem, a coalition of local agencies is throwing a Youth Block Party Friday at A. Philip Randolph Park.

Thousands of Floridians living with AIDS could be losing financial assistance they say is essential to living a normal life, and some AIDS groups are worried the state won't carry through on its promises.

wp paarz / Flickr

A federal judge ruled in favor of one of the nation's largest suppliers of HIV and AIDS medical care, clearing it of wrongdoing in an alleged $20 million scam to bilk the federal government.

International AIDS Society / Flickr

Police say a 71-year-old Canadian HIV/AIDS researcher died while swimming off a Florida beach with his family.

African-American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than other women, and many don't know it. So public health officials and advocates are trying to get the word out about PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a daily medication that helps prevent HIV infection.

New data on HIV/AIDS cases from the Center for Disease Control paint an alarming picture of the disease spreading in South Florida. Cities like Miami report triple the national rate for new HIV infections in 2015, while smaller cities in Southwest Florida continue to show some of the highest number of cases per capita in the nation.

South Florida has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in new HIV cases.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks the South Florida metro area as number one for HIV diagnoses in 2015.

The Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network has raised $700,000 toward eliminating HIV and AIDS in Jacksonville with a campaign called  #AIDSFreeJax.

The LGBT nonprofit announced its progress Thursday, in observance of World AIDS Day, and at a time when Jacksonville ranks third in the state for new cases of HIV.Florida ranks second in the country.

It's one of the biggest medical mysteries of our time: How did HIV come to the U.S.?

By genetically sequencing samples from people infected early on, scientists say they have figured out when and where the virus that took hold here first arrived. In the process, they have exonerated the man accused of triggering the epidemic in North America.

Fighting HIV In Miami, One Dirty Needle At A Time

Aug 10, 2016
Emily Michot/Miami Herald

The doctor on a mission met the homeless heroin addict who lived under a tree last year at Jackson Health System’s special immunology clinic when both men were struggling to overcome the odds.

Jose De Lemos, infected with HIV and hepatitis C from a shared needle, had gone without treatment for almost a year. He’d dropped 80 pounds, suffered from night sweats and a rash on his leg and chest. Even walking hurt.

He was in no mood for conversation with a well-meaning doc.

An AIDS health care group is defending an ad campaign in Los Angeles that links popular dating apps with the spread of sexual transmitted diseases.

 Preferred Medical Plan, the last of four insurers in Florida criticized by AIDS advocacy groups for the high cost of their HIV drugs, voluntarily agreed to cap the prices of the medication last week, according to the Miami Herald and Kaiser Health News. The company agreed to set the out-of-pocket cost limitation to $200 a month for four types of medication. According to the Herald, the Florida Department of Health and Human Services is still investigating federal civil rights co

Following in the footsteps of Cigna, Coventry Health Care has agreed to a deal with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to limit the costs of some HIV treatment drugs for consumers to $200 a month, the Miami Herald reports.

 

  Florida insurance officials are forcing the health insurance company Cigna to change its prescription drug policy to ensure that Florida consumers with HIV and AIDS can access their medications.

Associated Press

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – It may be hard to remember now, but there was a time when a mysterious autoimmune disease baffled doctors and frightened a world unfamiliar with what is now called AIDS. Arthur Fournier recalls the rise of the epidemic far better than most. In some ways it made him. In others, it nearly broke him. Above all, it helped define the rest of his life. 

Researchers say the daily use of multivitamins and minerals may significantly delay progression of HIV, if given during the early stages of infection.  The study, led by a Florida International University professor and published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed 878 HIV-infected patients in Botswana over a two-year period, the Miami Herald reports.

Kamaria Laffrey believes she is living proof that contracting HIV can happen to anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, she's right.  

Laffrey's story is part of the "Faces of HIV" traveling exhibit that is coming to St. Petersburg this weekend for the city's St. Pete Pride event. 

"It can happen to anybody. It's just a virus," Laffrey said. "It doesn't care what your sexual orientation is." 

Across the state last year, five babies were born infected with HIV out of 457 who were exposed to the virus during pregnancy, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Public health officials are troubled, because they say maternal transmission is preventable if the infection is caught early in pregnancy.

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Apr 30, 2013

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

The largest current study of an AIDS vaccine, involving 2,500 people, is being stopped.

After an oversight committee took a preliminary peek at the results this past Monday, they concluded there was no way the study would show that the vaccine prevents HIV infection.

Nor would the vaccine suppress the wily virus among people who get infected despite being vaccinated.

Just last week AIDS researchers were excited about a Mississippi toddler whose blood has remained free of HIV many months after she stopped getting antiviral drugs – what doctors call a "functional cure."