Beacon NewsFlashes – April 25, 2011
Illinois Tightens Income Requirements For Its AIDS Drug Assistance Program – The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that as of July 1, new applicants to the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) will only be accepted if their income falls at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line, less than or equal to $32,670 for a single individual. Currently, access to the ADAP in Illinois is restricted to those who have an income at or below 500 percent of the federal poverty level ($54,450 for a single individual). The Illinois ADAP is funded by both the federal and state governments and provides assistance to approximately 4,200 people living with HIV and AIDS. The recent economic downturn has led to more people requiring aid, while funds for the ADAP have been decreasing. For more information, please see the Windy City Times or the announcement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
New York State Department Of Health Releases Guidelines On Prevention Of Secondary HIV Transmission – The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute has released guidelines for the prevention of secondary HIV transmission, titled “Prevention with Positives: Integrating HIV Prevention into HIV Primary Care.” The guidelines recommend that people with HIV undergo sexual risk assessments every three to four months. They also suggest that health care providers discuss risk reduction strategies with their patients on an individualized basis. People with HIV should be screened annually for sexually transmitted infections and educated about HIV viral load (amount of HIV in the blood), transmission risk, and safe sex practices. Additionally, health care providers should review substance abuse history with each patient and discuss avoiding syringe or needle sharing with all injection drug users. For more information, please see the New York AIDS Institute website.
FDA Approves New Human Papillomavirus Test For Cervical Cancer Screening In Women – Roche announced last week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its cobas Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test, which screens women for the two HPV strains most commonly associated with cervical cancer. The approval was based on a clinical trial in 47,000 women that showed that 10 percent of women who tested positive for HPV strains 16 or 18 had pre-cervical cancer, even though they had normal Pap smear results. Most women with HIV (75 to 80 percent) also have HPV, and women with HIV are at higher risk of cervical cancer (see related AIDS Beacon news); studies estimate that 20 to 60 percent of women with HIV have signs of pre-cervical cancer. The new test is designed for use in addition to a routine Pap smear. For more information, please see the Roche press release.