CDC: HIV Incidence Numbers Higher Than Previously Estimated

August 4, 2008

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly revising HIV infections in the U.S. to 56,000 annually, a 40 percent increase over the longstanding estimate of 40,000 annual HIV transmissions – a number that has held steady since 1994. Read the rest of this entry »


Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act Introduced

August 1, 2008

Earlier this week, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) introduced the Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act. If the bill is passed, it would remove all legal barriers to States and local jurisdictions to spend federal funding that they receive for prevention of diseases directly on syringe exchange. Read the rest of this entry »

President Signs New PEPFAR Bill

July 31, 2008

President Bush today signed into law the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which provides funding for HIV treatment and prevention. Read the rest of this entry »

Court Fails To Stop Medi-Cal Cuts

July 30, 2008

A state court failed to stop the 10 percent cuts to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates which took effect on July 1st.

In May of this year, a coalition of health care providers filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate cuts that legislators passed earlier this year. According to the California Pharmacists Association, while the court found that the cuts would harm healthcare access for nearly 7 million Californians, it denied the preliminary injunction motion that the state court lacked the authority to enforce the federal law in state court.

For more information, please read the press release here.

New Advocacy Tools Against Medi-Cal Pharmacy Cuts

July 22, 2008

Courtesy of the L.A. County Commission on HIV : An updated Medi-Cal reduction petition and patient letter are now available. Please download and help stop the cut to Medi-Cal medications that went into effect July 1st.

Both the letter and the petition form are available for download here.

House Will Agree To Senate’s PEPFAR Version

July 18, 2008

According to Kaiser Network, House leaders have announced that they will approve the Senate’s version of a bill to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, sending the measure to President Bush to sign into law.

Passed earlier in April, the House version of the bill would also allocate $50 billion for PEPFAR. There are some differences between the House and Senate versions, including:

  • The House version would allow groups to use PEPFAR funding for HIV testing and education in family planning clinics–  but not for contraception or abortion services.
  • The House version includes some spending mandates that are not in the Senate bill, including a requirement that 20% of PEPFAR funding be allocated to prevention.
  • The Senate version includes a provision that more than half of the program’s aid go toward HIV/AIDS treatment and care.
  • The Senate version would create links between HIV/AIDS and nutrition programs and set a target of recruiting 140,000 health care workers.

Both versions do have a number of common features, including:

  • Language that overturns an existing law that requires one-third of prevention funds be spent on abstinence and fidelity programs, instead requiring a report to Congress if countries do not spend half of prevention money on such programs.
  • A directive to put 10 percent of funding towards programs for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as allocate $2 billion for the Global Fund in fiscal year 2009.
  • An existing requirement that organizations receiving PEPFAR aid have a policy that opposes commercial sex work.
  • In addition, both measures would allocate $5 billion for malaria programs and $4 billion for tuberculosis initiatives.

Senate Passes PEPFAR

July 16, 2008

The U.S. Senate today passed 80-16 the Lantos/Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act (S 2731), which reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

PEPFAR has helped bring lifesaving drugs to 1.7 million people globally. The reauthorized bill commits $48 billion toward fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the world’s hardest-hit countries. The reauthorized bill also includes a provision to lift the long-standing statutory ban on HIV-positive people from traveling or immigrating to the U.S.

The bill now returns to the House for concurrence. The House version, passed in April, contains some differences, the main one being that the House version would allow groups to use PEPFAR funding for HIV testing and education in family planning clinics but not for contraception or abortion services.

For more information: