Monday, December 03, 2012

Rural HIV/AIDS patients have fewer resources

Cases of HIV/AIDS are mostly concentrated in urban centers, but as the disease moves out into rural areas, educational and medical resources for preventing and treating it are left behind. In Florida, a State Healthcare Access Research Project report on HIV/AIDS in rural North Florida reveals trends found in rural places across the country.

Between Gainesville and the state border with Georgia, there are more than 1,500 AIDS patients and more than 2,617 HIV patients, according to the report. Men with AIDS outnumber women 4 to 1, and they are disproportionately African-American. "A lot of the challenges here are similar to what you find in other Southern states, with a rural population and pretty pervasive stigma," Amy Rosenberg, associate director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School, told Kristine Crane of The Gainesville Sun.

Rosenberg said rural HIV/AIDS patients face challenges their urban counterparts don't necessarily face, including finding transportation to appointments. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does provide a lot of funding to help HIV/AIDS patients, though, she said. It mandates that insurance companies pay for HIV testing for everyone aged 15 to 65. (Read more)

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