Despite a year-long outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease in Southern California primarily affecting gay and bisexual men, less than 27% of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Los Angeles County have been vaccinated for meningitis. The findings, released by the California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers collaboration between UCLA, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and APLA Health – call for more education about the disease and more immunization access points throughout Southern California at venues where gay and bisexual men socialize.
The Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are 10 categories of health services that insurance plans must cover. This brief report highlights how the Affordable Care Act, specifically in its provision for EHBs, has improved coverage of behavioral health care services for low-income individuals living with HIV in California. The report also describes areas of improvement for service accessibility. We offer recommendations for policy makers to consider at the state and federal levels during this time of health care reform.
This study explored how a sample of California counties previously used the HIV Set-Aside of the SAPT Block Grant, which contributed over $12 million statewide to HIV early intervention services and hepatitis C screening and linkage to care in FY2015. The HIV Set-Aside was discontinued in FY2016 when California’s AIDS cases dropped below the eligibility threshold, and the state was no longer permitted to use SAPT funds towards HIV Set-Aside activities. We recommend revising the eligibility criteria for HIV Set-Aside funding, and suggest other funding mechanisms that could help to support services previously covered by the HIV Set-Aside.
This week, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 239, a bill to modernize laws that criminalize people living with HIV.
Following the Community Input Meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles in October and November of 2017, the Executive Committee of the policy centers—consisting of investigators from the academic and community partners at both centers, as well as CHRP project officers—met to review the priority areas, identify commonalities and overlap, consider feasibility, and map out plans for the coming year. This letter summarizes the decisions we made during that meeting.
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