What's the Most Overlooked Issue in HIV Care Today?
By Warren Tong, Myles Helfand and JD Davids
March 24, 2016
Thanks to current antiretroviral therapy, individuals with HIV can live long, healthy lives. However, there are still barriers including access to and retention in care. Additionally, for those with full access to HIV care, there can be other complications.
To help identify and address more of these obstacles, we asked some of the leading HIV experts and advocates what they think is the most overlooked issue in HIV care today. These interviews were conducted at CROI 2016 in Boston.
These transcripts have been edited lightly for clarity.
Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
JD Davids is the managing editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com. Follow JD on Twitter: @JDAtTheBody.
Comment by: David Connelly
Fri., Jul. 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm UTC
It is my opinion that it is the people who drop out of or never engage in care after finding out that they are HIV positive, that are responsible for a majority of the new transmission of the disease.
In Canada it is illegal to have intercourse with anyone with out disclosure of positive status. This is a draconian way of dealing with a man/woman, as it changes nothing. The only way to deal effectively is through education and stopping the discrimination and stigma surrounding being HIV positive.
Education and acceptance.
Comment by: Tom Hunter
Thu., Apr. 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm UTC
As a case manager, mental health treatment is expensive and harder to get than 10 years ago. It is so important. Although not necessarily a burning issue, getting dental care, especially if you need major dental work or dentures, is next to impossible. Having unhealthy teeth and/or missing a lot of one's teeth can do a number on someone's self-esteem. With high co-pays on some ACA marketplace insurance plans, many people still cannot afford mental health (or substance use) treatment, so they just go without it.
Comment by: S in Tampa
Tue., Apr. 19, 2016 at 6:37 pm UTC
By far, the most overlooked issue for people with HIV is the lack of mental health support. I can get 3500.00 of meds for free, but I need at least 100.00 to talk to someone about depression, anxiety and other issues I suffer from. Ryan White should be funded to include more mental health services across the country.
Comment by: Tom
Tue., Mar. 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm UTC
The cost of treatment is preventing two-thirds of all HIV+ Americans from preserving what's left of their immune systems WHILE ALLOWING their HIV to be passed on. Could there be a more important issue than the high cost of treatment? I don't think so.
When I see a baby drop-out of the loins of a male, or see a pregnant male, then and only then will I buy the "trans" argument. I understand that people can hate themselves and hate their body, and hate their emotions (sexual attractions). I understand that different mental capacities exist with which to try to put all the above in perspective. Ignorance allowed cultural rituals (murdering homosexuals) to become trapped in organized superstitions that have been around before we knew the earth was round and circled the sun. Read Bruce Bagemihl's book, 'Biological Exuberance - Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity' for a better understanding of our world. The observation that about 50% of Giraffes are naturally bisexual is precious. If humans had a gland in their upper lip/gum that sensed when a women was ovulating, humans might act more like Giraffes.
Listen to the NPR show, 'This American Life - Show #220: Testosterone, initially aired August 30, 2002, for a great personal story of a women who took such large amounts of Testosterone that she permanently took-on male characteristics. She somewhat regretted her (his) decision. You may not initially believe that the guy telling the tale was once a women, by listening to his (her) voice. It's so heart-warming and telling of the human condition (gender stereotypes).
But, all these side-stories detract from the issue of fighting HIV through early detection, treatment and (hopefully, one day) a cure.
I.V. drug users have co-opted so many American HIV-patient representation groups - despite a near 100% cure rate for hepatitis-C. Why are hepatitis-C clinical studies being funded by tax payer money while HIV cure studies are nearly non-existent?
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