World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988. Each year, organizations and individuals across the world bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavor to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward Getting to Zero and Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.
On July 30, 1965, Medicare and Medicaid programs were establish when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislation them into law. This year marks the 55th anniversary of these important healthcare programs and they have continued to protect the health and well-being of millions of families, saving lives, and improving the economic security in the United States.
To learn more about Medicare and Medicaid in San Francisco follow this link: https://www.cms.gov/media/405741
PRC would like to congratulation the San Francisco HIV Frontline Organizing Group (SF HIV FOG) for the acceptance of their AIDS2020 abstract: CREATING A PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY OF FRONTLINE WORKERS AS AN INNOVATIVE METHOD TO IMPROVE THE CARE OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS.
Below is the poster which was shown at the virtual AIDS2020 conference, July 6 thru 10.
- For all participants whose enrollment expired or was set to expire before August 30, 2020
- ADAP & PrEP-AP has extended eligibility to August 31, 2020
- OA-HIPP, EB-HIPP & MDPP enrollments have been extended through September 30, 2020
- New ADAP applicants can reach out by phone or email to an enrollment worker
- Find an Enrollment Worker Site here
- If you are having difficulty finding an enrollment worker, call 844-421-7050 for assistance
- Until July 15, 2020, applicants can provide their 2018 tax returns as proof of income for program eligibility
Have you heard of PrEP and wondered what it stood for?
PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is a daily HIV prevention pill for those who are HIV-negative and want to reduce their risk of exposure to HIV. Research shows that, when taken consistently, PrEP provides protection from contracting HIV in a high percentage of individuals.
The California Department of Public Health Office of AIDS offers assistance to those without insurance to cover PrEP. You may be eligible to receive PrEP free of charge as part of the Patient Assistance Program, known as PrEP-AP. The program provides assistance with PrEP-related medical costs and other medications for the prevention of HIV and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
- California resident
- At least 18 years old
- Negative HIV/AIDS test result (dated within six months of the PrEP-AP application)
- Annual Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) cannot exceed 500% of the Federal Poverty Level
- Medication expenses are not fully covered by Medi-Cal or other third-party payers
- Enrolled in the manufacturer’s assistance program (if eligible)
If an individual is HIV+, the California Department of Public Health Office of AIDS has other programs to help pay for medication and health coverage related expenses: AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), Health Insurance Premium Payment program (OA-HIPP), Employer-Based Health Insurance Premium Payment (EB-HIPP), and Medicare Part D Premium Payment (MDPP) Assistance.
References and Resources:
April 29th – San Francisco’s health orders were updated and extended through May 31st.
March 31st – San Francisco Department of Health has issued “ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-07b (SHELTER IN PLACE)” which outlines requirements for San Francisco residents, businesses, and visitors.
March 20th – San Francisco Department of Health has issued “ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-09 (LIMITATIONS ON RESIDENTIAL FACILITY VISITORS)” which outlines the constraints currently in place on visitors to PRC BP residential facilities.
Every year on March 10th, the U.S. observes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
HIV prevention and treatment are critical to reducing new HIV cases among women and girls. Women and girls – as well as their partners, friends, and family members who care about them – are encouraged to learn more about how they can take control of their own health to prevent and treat HIV.
HIV/AIDS is an equality opportunity virus. Any woman or girl who is sexually active can contract HIV/AIDS regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. However, statistics show that African American and Latinx women and girls have a higher chance of acquiring HIV than their counterparts. [Facts https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/women/index.html]
There is great news! With today’s advancements in HIV/AIDS research and treatment it is possible to prevent HIV infection or passing the virus on to a partner or baby. Some unique challenges women and girls face are related to STDs, which may increase the risk of HIV infection.
Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) is addressing the specific needs of women and girls who could be exposed to the virus or living with HIV.
Please take a minute to view this important message from Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
Follow these links to:
Learn more about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Find a local HIV testing or a healthcare provider, visit locator.HIV.gov.
Together, we can stop HIV.
If you have HIV or AIDS, and your symptoms have advanced and made it impossible for you to work and earn a living, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two different disability programs that offer monthly benefits to disabled workers. A medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, is used to determine if an individual meets the medical criteria to qualify for disability benefits. There are several listings in the Blue Book that may apply to an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, but there is a specific listing that focuses on the condition itself.
Meeting the Medical Criteria
Section 14.00 of the Blue Book applies to adult immune system disorders. Listing 14.11 itself applies to HIV infection itself. To qualify using this listing, you must provide documentation to confirm your diagnosis, and you must also be able to prove one of the following:
- Multicentric Castleman disease that affects multiple groups of organs containing lymphoid tissue or lymph nodes OR
- Primary effusion lymphoma OR
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalolopathy OR
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma OR
- Pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma OR
- Absolute CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3 or less OR
- Absolute CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mm3 or CD4 percentage of less than 14 percent, and one of the following – BMI measurement of less than 18.5, hemoglobin measurement of less than 8.0 grams per deciliter, or complications of HIV infection requiring a minimum of three hospitalizations within a 12-month period at least 30 days apart with each hospitalization lasting no less than 48 hours.
For your claim to be successful, you must provide hard medical evidence that includes test results and different laboratory tests that confirm your diagnosis and that support your claim. Any opportunistic diseases that you have been diagnosed with should have indications of a cell-mediated immunity and should have been diagnosed by the proper testing. As an example, provide biopsy results for any cancer diagnosis and biopsy results for toxoplasmosis of the brain. You should provide detailed records that confirm any systems, restrictions, and limitations, such as headaches, fever, brain lesions, and seizures.
Even if your diagnosis does not meet any of the specific Listings set out above, you can still be found disabled if you can show that your impairment prevents you from being able to perform the functions of your past relevant work or other full time work.
Medical tests, including positive serology tests, should be provided to help confirm the diagnosis and its severity. Some blood tests, including CD4 tests, aren’t adequate for confirming a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS. Remember, hard medical evidence and supporting documentation are essential for a disability claim to be successful.
Applying for Disability Benefits
If you are unable to work because of HIV or AIDS, or because of an opportunistic disease resulting from either of those conditions, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits. You can start your application process online at the SSA’s website or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and talking with a representative or by scheduling an appointment at your local SSA field office. While it sometimes takes months for a claim to be approved, the more documentation that you provide to support your claim, the more likely you are to get an approval and be awarded disability benefits.
On September 3, 2019, the California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS released the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Client portal.
Using the portal, clients enrolled in ADAP can:
- View their client ID, enrollment site, enrollment worker contact information, eligibility status, and eligibility end date
- View the Insurance Assistance Program information if enrolled, including program type (OA-HIPP, EB-HIPP, or MDPP), insurance carrier, eligibility status, and eligibility end date
- Elect to receive automatic notifications about eligibility and re-enrollment
- Recertify if there are no changes to residency or health insurance and annual household income is within program limits
To request access to the Client Portal, contact the ADAP Call Center at 1-844-421-7050, Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. After requesting access, the client will receive an email with a URL to the client portal. Using the link, the client will enter their email address as the username and a temporary password, and then be prompted to create a new password. Contact the ADAP Call Center, with any issues accessing the Client Portal.
For more information about ADAP, go to California Department of Health Office of AIDS webpage.
If you are interested in ADAP and not yet enrolled, contact an ADAP Enrollment Worker to apply. To find an Enrollment Worker in your area, go to ADAP Enrollment Site Locator.
SAN FRANCISCO (June 20, 2019) – PRC, whose nonprofit mission is to provide a variety of legal, social and health services to San Francisco residents affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use or mental health issues, has announced its official endorsement of the Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) campaign.
Whether one is affected by HIV or is HIV negative, it is important to know and understand U=U. The U=U campaign was born in New York City and has quickly spread across North America and the global community.
The stigma associated with HIV remains one of the greatest barriers for people in accessing HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and support. PRC’s endorsement of U=U sends a clear message that sharing the knowledge regarding U=U with our San Francisco community is an urgent priority to save lives and fight stigma, as well as is a call to take action to help spread the message.
U=U (Undectable equals Untransmittable) has unequivocally been supported by scientific evidence. It shows that, when an individual is in HIV Treatment and maintains a suppressed viral load, there is effectively no risk of transmission to their partner during sex.
Through its partnership with Getting to Zero San Francisco, PRC is committed to preventing new HIV diagnoses and supporting people living with HIV to stay in treatment so they can live their best lives.
Continued support of campaigns like U=U is critical to ending HIV-related stigma. This will help us achieve the goals of preventing new diagnoses, reaching undiagnosed individuals, and ensuring that people living with HIV receive the care, treatment and support they need.
PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps people affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use or mental health issues better realize the opportunities available to them. PRC provides integrated legal, social, and health services to address the broad range of social risk factors that impact wellness and limit potential. In 2017, the organization merged with AIDS Emergency Fund (AEF), an emergency financial assistance provider for low-income residents living with HIV/AIDS, and Baker Places, an agency that provides a comprehensive array of residential treatment services to people with mental health, substance use, and HIV/AIDS-related issues. Combined, the three organizations represent a 115-year history of service and serve approximately 5,000 clients annually. For more information, please visit www.prcsf.org