HHS To Give States $25 Million For HIV Drugs; Researchers Identify Antibodies That May Help In AIDS Vaccine ResearchThe New York Times: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday "that she would provide $25 million more to help states buy life-saving medications for people with H.I.V. or AIDS. Advocates for patients said the money was not nearly enough to eliminate waiting lists, which have surged to record levels as people have lost health insurance, along with their jobs, and states have cut their budgets. Ms. Sebelius said she was 'reallocating and transferring $25 million in existing resources' to provide medicines for people on waiting lists. Dr. Howard K. Koh, the assistant secretary of health and human services in charge of the program ... repeatedly refused to say where the money had come from." Sebelius expressed confidence that the new funding would "meet the existing and projected need until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. As of July 1, about 2,100 people were on waiting lists for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program in 11 states. ... Other states have narrowed eligibility, limited enrollment or restricted the drugs for which they will pay" (Pear, 7/8).
The Hill: Meanwhile, in related news, "[t]he White House will unveil a national strategy on HIV and AIDS on Tuesday. This is the first time the federal government will have a comprehensive plan to tackle the epidemic. AIDS advocates have long pushed for such a strategy to be adopted, pointing out that the U.S. requires government accountability from other countries who are recipients of U.S. AIDS help" (Pecquet, 7/8).
The Los Angeles Times: And in another AIDS-related development, "[f]ederal researchers have identified a pair of naturally occurring antibodies that are able to kill more than 90% of all strains of the AIDS virus, a finding they say could lead to the development of new treatments for HIV infections and to the production of the first successful vaccine against the virus" (Maugh, 7/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.