HRC Blog

Take Action for Early Treatment of HIV in Health Reform!

aidsribbonImagine that you are living close to the poverty line, struggling every day to meet the most basic needs of you and your family.  Now imagine that you’ve tested positive for HIV.  Thanks to the safety net of Medicaid, you have access to health care – but when you go to the doctor to begin HIV treatment, you are turned away.  Medicaid, you are told, only covers your treatment when you develop full blown AIDS.  Despite the fact that early treatment would improve your quality of life, reduce your risk of transmitting the virus to others and even save taxpayer dollars, your state isn’t even allowed to cover treatment of your HIV.    In November, the House of Representatives passed, as part of its health reform bill,  legislation to end this perverse policy, the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA).  ETHA has been part of HRC’s legislative agenda for years and we lobbied hard to see it included in Congress’s effort to reform our health care system.  Unfortunately, this important protection for low-income people with HIV and AIDS is in danger.  The House is once again taking up health reform this week, and we need your help to make sure that ETHA is included! Please, take a moment and call your Member of Congress now!  Call the House switchboard – (202) 224-3121.  Tell them where you live and you'll be connected to your Representative.  Tell your Member that the Early Treatment for HIV Act is a common-sense measure that would allow states to provide the most vulnerable HIV-positive people with treatments that will help them live longer, healthier lives – all while saving the American taxpayer money.  We are counting on Congress to make ETHA part of health care reform!

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