The HIVLandscape

What we’ve accomplished together to date deserves a round of applause, but there’s more work to be done, and more good to come.

Good News & Long Views

Thirty-five years into the HIV epidemic, we’ve made substantial, if uneven progress toward reaching a goal of zero new infections. In the past ten years, we’ve seen a 19% decrease in new infections overall. A look into the numbers, however, reveals the extent of the disparities across racial groups. While diagnoses are decreasing among white gay men, they have increased – dramatically, in some cases – among nearly every other affected group. Eliminating these gaps and further reducing the nearly 36,000 new HIV diagnoses each year will require a rededicated and sustained focus across society – from the CDC to health departments, from health systems to community organizations, and from advocacy groups to individuals.

GSP, like many community-based and AIDS service organizations across the U.S., is navigating a landscape in which funding for healthcare and HIV services continues to shift in ways that have far reaching implications for people living with HIV/AIDS and how organizations deliver the services they’ve come to trust over time. That’s why GSP programs and services are designed to support the goals set forth in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. As the Strategy makes clear, ending the HIV epidemic requires fresh thinking, more efficient use of resources, more highly coordinated partnerships, and an engaged community. And for its part, GSP has advanced on multiple fronts to ensure that people affected by HIV will have unfettered access to quality prevention, case management, behavioral health and primary care services. Following the opening of an on-site primary care clinic (operated in partnership with Truman Medical Centers), the recent introduction of mail-order pharmacy services, and a new Linkage to Care Program, GSP is now making preparations for the next generation of program and service enhancements. Stay tuned.

Advocacy & Policy Priorities

Preserve and Strengthen the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has extended health insurance coverage to nearly 25 million Americans, instituted critical patient protections for vulnerable populations, and has begun to lower overall healthcare costs. GSP calls on Congress to work with the Administration to make the necessary reforms to ensure the ACA’s role in the nation’s social and healthcare safety net. Read additional details on how the ACA is addressing the HIV epidemic.

Expand Medicaid in Missouri and Kansas

Missouri and Kansas are among the 18 states yet to expand Medicaid coverage, leaving nearly 293,000 Missourians and 126,000 Kansans without health insurance coverage as a result. By not expanding Medicaid, leaders in both states have placed families in crisis, harmed local economies by rejecting more than $20 billion in additional federal Medicaid dollars, and have forced health systems and rural hospitals to close or scale back needed medical services.12

GSP, a member of the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, calls on both the Missouri and Kansas Legislatures and Governors to expand Medicaid and to pull our region from the bottom of states in public health investments. Contact your state legislators wherever you reside.

Overturn HIV Criminalization Laws in Missouri and Kansas

Statutes exist in both states that “impose criminal penalties on persons who know they have HIV and subsequently engage in certain behaviors, most commonly sexual activity without prior disclosure of HIV-positive serostatus.”3 The effects of these laws provide no public health benefit, fall disproportionately on communities of color, and contribute to the fear and stigma that too often pervades these same communities. Rather than spending public resources prosecuting these dubious claims, both states should instead invest in making health services more widely available as well as other strategies known to decrease new HIV infections.

AIDS Watch 2017
AIDS Watch 2017
AIDS Watch 2017