Alabama receives grant to fight HIV
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Good news for HIV-infected individuals living in Alabama: According to AL.com, the 122 patients on a waiting list to get treatment for HIV/AIDS will no longer have to go without the drugs they need, thanks to a $3 million donation from the federal government.
"It will allow us to keep people on medication and off the waiting list until March 30, 2013," said Jane Cheeks, state AIDS director at the Department of Public Health, quoted by the news source. "We are really grateful for the money."
On July 19, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $80 million in grant money would be distributed across the U.S. to help fight HIV. According to the news source, the $3 million that Alabama has received came from that grant. About $1 million of the money will go to an insurance program for Medicare D, that will support nearly 90 of the 122 HIV patients in the state who need treatment. The rest of the money will go to the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides HIV medication to patients who have no private or federal insurance.
"We are excited about it," said AIDS Alabama CEO Kathie Hiers, quoted by the news source.
However, Hiers added that there are 900 new HIV infections in Alabama each year, so these funds will not be enough to cover everything.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages residents to visit confidential STD testing centers in Alabama to learn if they have HIV or another seuxal infection. The ADPH adds that along with HIV, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea are the most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the state. These infections are often preventable through practicing safer sex.
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