TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(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 TALLAHASSEE on Thursday, April 12th starting at 10:30am in front of the headquarters of the state’s Medicaid agency (AHCA--the Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32308). The protesters—expected to be about 50 HIV/AIDS advocates, patients, community partners & others—will seek to persuade state officials to renew its Medicaid contract with Positive Healthcare.
PROTEST on Denial of Florida Medicaid HIV Care Contract
|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.|
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
In front of:
Florida Medicaid Program’s State Headquarters
(Agency for Health Care Administration)
|2727 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32308|
|WHO:||PROTESTERS: 50+ HIV/AIDS advocates, community partners and others|
|AHF MEDIA CONTACT:||
Imara Canady, Imara.Canady@aidshealth.org - 954.952.0258 mobile
“The decision by Florida Medicaid officials not to renew the contract for HIV care for the state’s Medicaid population with Positive Healthcare will undoubtedly disrupt patient care for a vulnerable population of as many as 2,000 Florida HIV patients,” said Donna Stidham, Chief of Managed Care for AHF. “Many of these patients have been seeing their doctor for years, even decades, and are thriving in care. These same patients will suffer disruption of treatment and can suffer substandard care if they are simply dumped into the general patient population, or if their care is jobbed out by huge, for-profit insurance companies for treatment by a family medicine doctor or general practitioner without HIV expertise. We respectfully urge Florida officials to restore its Medicaid contract 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 Thursday in Tallahassee, 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