On this World AIDS Day, December 1, one in five women with HIV in the United States has no health insurance. Half of the estimated 460,000 women and men who need lifesaving antiretroviral drugs are not getting them, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.
"These figures are appalling," said Paul Volberding, MD, chairman of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) Board of Directors and a member of the IOM panel that wrote the report. "We find it tragic that in the richest country in the world, so many people are not getting the care they desperately need."
Most women with HIV/AIDS who do receive care do so under publicly funded programs. Despite growing enrollment, however, funding for programs like the Ryan White CARE Act were cut in this years budget after years of stagnation. Medicaid, the largest provider of care for people with HIV, could face cuts in coming years because of extremely tight budgets.
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