Working to Create an AIDS and HIV-Free Generation
Today, one of the biggest problems in caring for the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV is the crisis of access to affordable drugs. One of the great moral issues of our day is that people with HIV and AIDS are suffering and, in some cases, dying in America because they can’t afford to pay the outrageous prices being charged for the medicine they need to live. It is indefensible that even with insurance and rebates, a person with HIV must spend thousands of dollars per year just on prescription drugs — often leaving them unable to afford decent housing or other necessities — all while profiteering companies continue to jack up the price of these treatments overnight, simply because they can.
What can we do about it?
Universal Healthcare - To truly ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care, we need to fight for a Medicare-for-all, single payer system. Until that happens, we must make sure insurance companies and providers are not discriminating against those with HIV/AIDS, including when it comes to drug coverage. This should also include significantly expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder services by protecting and expanding community health centers, which provide key behavioral health and substance abuse services to more than 1.3 million patients. We must also support access to mental health services at community mental health centers.
Expanding the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and ending the AIDS epidemic
We need to fight to end the AIDS epidemic by doubling the number of people on HIV treatment worldwide by 2020. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been an incredibly successful program, currently supporting antiretroviral treatment for more than 9.5 million people. But that is only a fraction of those worldwide who need treatment. More than 22 million people with HIV/AIDS do not have access to the medicine and support services they need.