Health Care Law Will Help More People Access Needed Screenings and Care to Keep Communities Healthy
Washington, DC–(ENEWPSF)–October 15 — In recognition of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is joining the national call to action for Latinos to protect their health by getting tested and learning about HIV. National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide community mobilization campaign seeking to raise the visibility of HIV/AIDS within the Latino community.
“Planned Parenthood health centers are proud to partner with the Latino community in fighting HIV/AIDS through the year-round provision of HIV screening,” said Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff, Planned Parenthood Federation of America director of Latino leadership and engagement. “In 2011, Planned Parenthood health centers provided nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including 680,000 HIV tests. Planned Parenthood remains committed to working with Latinos and their families every day to combat HIV/AIDS and improve the quality of, and access to, culturally competent health care and education.
“Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, screenings for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, are covered for free — without a copay. Approximately nine million Latinos are newly eligible for more affordable insurance under the health care law. Nearly 750 Planned Parenthood health centers across the country look forward to helping every community access this critical preventive care in our nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.”
Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV. In the U.S., there are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, including approximately 220,000 Latinos. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Latinos account for 20 percent of new HIV infections and contract HIV at nearly three times the rate of non-Latino whites, making HIV/AIDS the fourth-largest killer of Latinos aged 35 to 44 in the United States.
To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, it’s vital that anyone who is sexually active educate themselves about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), practice safer sex by using condoms, and get tested regularly for HIV. Planned Parenthood health centers offer low-cost STI testing throughout the year, and our doors are open to everyone.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IN FIGHTING HIV/AIDS
Under the Affordable Care Act, millions more people will be eligible for health insurance and HIV care. Currently, insurers will be required to fully cover annual counseling and screening for HIV infection for all sexually active women, as well as HIV screening for adolescents and adults aged 13-64.
Last November, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that all Americans aged 15-65 receive routine HIV testing, not just those most at risk. If finalized, this would mean insurers would have to cover HIV screening without a copay.
Health care providers like Planned Parenthood health centers will play a large role in translating these new requirements into expanded access to health care for people across the country.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S COMMITMENT TO CARE — NO MATTER WHAT
Planned Parenthood health centers are among the nation’s leading providers of HIV screening. In 2011, Planned Parenthood health centers conducted 680,000 HIV tests, a 16 percent increase from 2010.
Planned Parenthood is committed to reducing racial disparities in reproductive health care, and will continue to work tirelessly for a health care system that provides affordable, high-quality care and treats all people with dignity.
For more information on where to get tested for HIV, visit plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With nearly 750 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.