Wondering about the Supreme Court’s decision on HIV/STD prevention and care? Some help from The National Coalition Of STD Directors:
As you consider the impact of today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act on different populations, I would like to share with you the impact of today’s ruling on our fight to prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major epidemic in the United States. Each year, there are approximately 19 million new cases of STDs, approximately half of which go undiagnosed and untreated[i], giving the United States the highest STD rate in the industrialized world.[ii]
STDs cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion every year—and cost individuals even more in immediate and life-long health consequences, including infertility, higher risk of acquiring HIV, and certain cancers.[iii]
- Young people will continue to have expanded coverage under their parent’s insurance. Young people bear a disproportionate burden of STDs—those aged 15-25 make up half of the STDs contracted annually, but make up only one-fourth of the sexually active population.
- Private insurance will continue to have to cover prevention services with no cost out-of pocket costs to patients. Many of those who visit STD clinics are low-income and would not be able to receive prevention sexual health services without coverage by insurance. While there is still work to be done for certain at-risk populations, such as men who have sex with men, expanded STD testing and STI counseling will be covered by insurance under this expansion of preventative care in the law and it is a great start.
- The continued need for safety-net service providers is underscored. With the narrowing of the Medicaid expansion provisions, the very real possibility exists that many low-income individuals will not have access to affordable health care coverage. Patients at STD clinics are young, minority, and poor—populations that are bear a much higher burden of STD disease—and may be left without coverage in a state that may choose not to expand their Medicaid coverage.
HIV-specifics from Lambda Legal:
“This is a victory for all Americans, but in particular, the Court’s decision today will save the lives of many people living with HIV – as long as states do the right thing. The Affordable Care Act will finally allow people living with HIV to access medical advancements made years ago but that have so far remained out of reach of many. With continuing prevention education, early detection, and quality care for everyone living with HIV, we have the power to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“But this is not a complete victory, because today’s decision allows states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion that would provide insurance coverage for many low-income people who cannot otherwise afford it. Our continuing challenge will be to make sure that states opt to expand Medicaid so that more low-income people, and particularly those with HIV, can get the health care they urgently need.”
- Who should go for a STD test? (healthnfitnesstips.typepad.com)
- Teens don’t identify with STD messages (futurity.org)
- Affordable Care Act a lifeline for people with pre-existing conditions (king5.com)
- Obama: ‘National HIV Testing Day highlights the importance of HIV testing and the fight against HIV/AIDS’ (miamiherald.typepad.com)