No matter whether you are red, blue or purple in the face, the re-election of President Barack Obama is a big deal if you treat HIV infection. Foremost, Jan. 20, 2013 will not be Day 1 of a renewed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will proceed.
Meanwhile, get those Medicaid application forms ready, because a few more million people will become eligible for this public health program. Practically, this may mean more people living with HIV, especially men, will be able to get their medications at no cost. It could also promote health care engagement for people such as young MSM, who generally don't see doctors; this may allow for more testing and counseling.
What happens to ADAP? Will HIV-infected patients be shunted to Federally Qualified Health Centers? Will states make up their own sets of care packages that short-change patients? These and many other questions will need to be answered. However, this is a big deal -- and we will all begin to deal with it over the year to come.
David Alain Wohl, M.D., is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina and site leader of the University of North Carolina AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Chapel Hill.