MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation’s largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider and largest global AIDS organization, today blasted Florida Medicaid officials for their failure to renew an HIV care contract with AHF’s Positive Healthcare— a respected non-profit which has been providing critical health insurance coverage for people living with HIV in Florida since 1999. AHF says the state’s move will recklessly disrupt care for a vulnerable population of nearly 2,000 Florida HIV patients.
In response to the decision, AHF and Positive Healthcare are spearheading a PROTEST in MIAMI on Wednesday, April 11th starting at 10:30am in front of the Miami-Dade Area Office of the state’s Medicaid agency (AHCA-the Agency for Health Care Administration, 8333 N.W. 53rd St., Miami FL 33166). The protesters—expected to be about 150 HIV/AIDS advocates, community partners & others—will seek to persuade state officials to renew its Medicaid contract with Positive Healthcare.
PROTEST over Florida Medicaid HIV Care Contract Denial
HIV/AIDS advocates, community partners & others to protest Florida Medicaid’s move to deny renewal of an HIV care contract with AHF’s Positive Healthcare.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
|WHERE:||In front of:|
Florida Medicaid Program’s Miami-Dade Area Office
|(Agency for Health Care Administration)|
|8333 N.W. 53rd St., Miami, FL 33166|
|WHO:||PROTESTERS: 200+ HIV/AIDS advocates, community partners and others|
|AHF MEDIA CONTACT:||
Imara Canady, Imara.Canady@aidshealth.org - 954.952.0258 mobile
“HIV is a complex disease that affects all aspects of a patients’ health and is best managed by primary care HIV specialists who see the patient’s whole medical history and drug profile and work together with the patient to ensure his or her optimal care,” said Dr. Michael Wohlfeiler, AHF’s Chief of Medicine/US. “AHF’s Positive Healthcare plan is equipped to help the patient navigate the many challenges these patients face. Many of these patients also often suffer from stigma and discrimination, making it difficult for them to seek out and establish trust with a new medical provider and his or her clinic staff. Florida Medicaid officials: please do not interrupt the quality of care for these patients by severing this nearly twenty-year partnership with Positive Healthcare.”
AHF Launches Statewide Ad Campaign Challenging Florida Medicaid Officials on HIV Care Contract
In addition to the Florida Medicaid/HIV care contract protest set for Wednesday in Miami, AHF advocates also kicked off a statewide newspaper advocacy ad campaign with a full-page, full color ad which ran in five major daily newspapers in Florida on Sunday, April 8th.
The ad, with the headline, “Why Are Florida Medicaid Officials Disrupting Healthcare Coverage for People Living with HIV?”, ran in the ‘Miami Herald,’ the ‘Sun-Sentinel’ in Ft. Lauderdale, the ‘Tallahassee Democrat,’ the ‘Tampa Bay Times’ and the ‘Florida Times-Union,’ in Jacksonville.
The advocacy ads included several alarming statistics about HIV in Florida including the following facts:
- Nearly 5,000 people in Florida were infected with HIV in 2016 alone, which means one out of every eight new HIV infections in the United States occurred in Florida.
- South Florida leads the nation in new HIV diagnoses at 38.7 new infections per every 100,000 people. In contrast, the overall rate in the United States is 12.3 new infections per every 100,000 people.
- Nearly 136,000 Floridians are estimated to be living with HIV, but one in six is still not aware of his or her HIV-positive status.
- More than 30,000 Floridians currently living with HIV are not receiving care for their infection.
The ad urged readers to go to the website: HIVcare.org/Florida to learn more and how you can support those living with HIV.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 889,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare