HIV is a disease that alters the human immune system, making an infected individual to become vulnerable to other opportunistic infections. Discovered in 1981, the manifestation of the virus infection was rapidly fatal. Within 15 years since the discovery of the virus, medical practitioners have been able to come up with antiretroviral medications for HIV patients. These medications suppress the replication of the virus as well as prolonging the patients' lifelines. The susceptibility of these infections occurring worsens if the progress of the syndrome increases. The virus is found throughout the tissues of the victim's body, and its primary mode of transmission is through the body fluids of an infected individual.
In the USA, more than 1 million people are living with the virus. Compared to the country's population, the size of the HIV epidemic is relatively small. Studies have shown that gay and bisexual men account for almost 67% of all the HIV diagnoses in the United States (Schiller). The country is one of the most significant funders of the global response to HIV/AIDS even though the epidemic is still affecting it, with almost 37,600 new infections per year. Infected individuals continue to face stigma and discrimination which hampers their access to prevention, testing and also treatment services.
In 2010, President Obama created the nation's first national strategy on HIV/AIDS. It was later updated in 2015 and was set to run till 2020. This strategy is structured around three core goals: reducing the rate of new HIV infections, increase of access to healthcare and improvement of health outcomes for the infected and also achievement of a coordinated national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In efforts to fight the rising outbreak, the government has invested a lot in making sure that there is a reduction in newly infected cases as well as the provision of adequate healthcare to persons living with the infection. The USA released the guidelines that recognize benefits of offering early treatment for people infected with HIV in December 2014. They also outlined the benefits that treatment can provide for the prevention of the spread of the HIV to an uninfected individual (Gunthard 410-425). In 2010, people living with HIV were enrolled in thousands into the comprehensive health insurance. This was made possible through the Affordable Care Act implementation.
In a study done by Kaiser Family Foundation in 2014, it is suggested that a large number of individuals have put the systems that were established in the act to look for better, comprehensive and affordable health insurance coverage (Reif 351-359). This has made a large number of HIV infected patients receive the treatment they require under the Affordable Care Act. Under this act, most of health insurance plans should cover some particular recommended preventive services which include testing of HIV for people of between 15 and 65 years. In every eight people in the US, one is unaware that they are infected and hence, improving access to testing of HIV will be of help to many people in learning about their status so that they can access care and treatment.
Programs like the Ryan White Program also work with states, cities, as well as community-based organizations for the provision of HIV services to more than 500,000 individuals infected with AIDS every year. This program is mainly aimed at helping those who lack adequate health care coverage and also financial resources to help them cope with the HIV disease. The health centre program also ensures that health centers around the country provide the best quality preventive health care services that include HIV testing and care to affected patients even if they can't pay. Some patients may receive the services in the healthcare centre itself while some can be referred to a community HIV specialist.
With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, over half of the American population with HIV has been able to get their medication as well as health care through the federal programs under the act. The Ryan White Care Act can be categorized as the largest program for people with HIV and is federally funded. Patients who don't have insurance or even enough coverage receive support services from the Ryan White program as well as the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. In some instances, these programs also pay for doctor visits as well as other support services for HIV victims. Pharmaceutical companies all over the country have come together to offer free medication as well as drugs that are heavily discounted to help individuals who have low incomes and don't qualify for any assistance or insurance programs. By 2019, the Affordable Care Act as well as the patient protection program is set to expand their services to over 32 million Americans who are without insurance.
Since 1981when HIV/AIDS was a largely fatal condition, there has been a huge transformation which can be seen in the present day for HIV patients. There has been a rapid prolongation of life for these patients thanks to the Affordable Care Act as well as other programs designed to help people living with HIV. The health outcomes for these patients have improved since individuals can now access medication at little or no cost at all.
The numerous therapies available for HIV patients that suppress the replication of the virus have resulted in a decrease in the progression and incidences of cancer and other opportunistic infections. Through these therapies, doctors have been able to restore the host immunity and also prolonging their lifelines. Patient-centered medical homes have been recognized as valuable and more effective ways for strengthening the quality of medical care for patients with chronic infections such as HIV/AIDS. These medical home programs have brought about health benefits that have fostered a wide range of patient retention as well as high-quality HIV care. This is as a result of the focus put on the treatment of many patients' needs through better coordination across all the support services and medical specialties.
Through the Affordable Care Act and other patient-based programs in the United States, many Americans living with the HIV have been able to access proper medical care at very affordable prices. Individuals who have HIV and can't afford treatment have also been able to access the required medical attention through the community-based programs as well as other programs offered in the country. The rates of new HIV infections have dropped since the introduction of the act, and this poses a great improvement since the disease was discovered in 1981.
Over the course of the epidemic, the HIV funding response has had a significant increase. This has been driven by the rise in spending on domestic care as well as treatment programs since more people in the USA are living with HIV. With the HIV response rate in the US, many patients have been able to live longer even with the virus as well as manage the infection at an individual level. The continued support for HIV patients will have positive impacts in the fight against the virus now and in the years to come.
Gunthard, H. F., Aberg, J. A., Eron, J. J., Hoy, J. F., Telenti, A., Benson, C. A., ... & Reiss, P. (2014). Antiretroviral treatment of adult HIV infection: 2014 recommendations of the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel. Jama, 312(4), 410-425.
Reif, S. S., Whetten, K., Wilson, E. R., McAllaster, C., Pence, B. W., Legrand, S., & Gong, W. (2014). HIV/AIDS in the Southern USA: a disproportionate epidemic. AIDS care, 26(3), 351-359.
Schiller, J. S., Lucas, J. W., & Peregoy, J. A. (2012). Summary health statistics for US adults: national health interview survey, 2011.
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Research Paper on US Healthcare System on HIV/AIDS. (2022, May 16). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/research-paper-on-us-healthcare-system-on-hiv-aids
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