12:00 pm - Mon, Feb 27, 2012

Small Victories of LB 891

We did it! LB 891 has been successfully voted out of committee. And guess what? All 7 committee members voted FOR the bill [Check out the Committee Statement]. Thank you to everyone who put forth their efforts in taking action. We encourage you, as supporters, to send a note of thanks to the Health and Human Services Committee.

Remember when we said we would need your help shortly? Well, now is the time to step up and ACT!

The bill will now be taken to the full legislature for senators to vote on (25 votes needed to advance). It will go through 4 more steps:

  1. General File
  2. Select File
  3. Final Reading
  4. Governor

This is where we needthe public to write, call, or visit with senators and let your voices be heard on why YOU think LB 891 should be approved! For a list of all the senators in the Nebraska Legislature, click here. With the help of a small click, you can make a huge difference!

[To learn more about how a bill becomes a law in Nebraska, click here.]

                                                   -Laura from NAP

11:21 am - Mon, Feb 6, 2012
1 note

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

                                                                                            

Did you know that while only representing 14% of the U.S. population, African Americans account for 44% of all new HIV infections?

Tomorrow, February 7th, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Love’s Jazz and Art Museum will be hosting a town hall forum on the impact of HIV/AIDS on African-American citizens in Omaha (Hosted by Black Family Health and Wellness Association, Charles Drew Health Center, Douglas County Health Department, Girls Inc., Love’s Jazz and Art Center, Malcolm X Community Center, National Council of Negro Women, Nebraska Office Health Disparities and Health Equity, Stop AIDS Nebraska, and UNMC-Infectious Disease Department). Come join us at the event!

“I Am My Brothers/Sisters Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2510 N. 24th St.

5:30-7:30PM

1:21 pm - Fri, Jan 27, 2012

Food for Thought: LB 891Hearing

At last, it was the big day (that is, the hearing of LB891 in Lincoln, NE). Getting out of class later than expected, I watched anxiously as the clock in my car ticked by the minute closer and closer to 1:30pm. My twin sister was driving with me so we were able to multi-task on the drive, eating lunch, looking professional, and informing my sister of what to expect. With luck, we pulled into a parking spot at 1:25pm and made a mad dash to the legislative building. When we entered the hearing room, it was packed full of people. My initial thought was Oh goodness. This is going to be a harder task than anticipated. Luckily, I found out pretty soon after that this hearing in front of the Health & Human Services Committee was for four different bills, LB 891 being the first.

As Senator Nordquist introduced the bill, the room became respectfully quiet. After Daniel, a nurse from UNMC, Renae, an employee working with the ADAP Program at UNMC, and Jordan from NAP testified as proponents for the bill, I breathed with a sense of relief. I must say, it is pretty nerve-wrecking just watching others put themselves in front of a committee of politicians. You really have to know the facts and figures. Tip: Do your homework BEFORE you testify. The three of them clearly showed that they had done just that! Besides there being only one opponent testifier, what really helped us was that each of the proponent testifiers brought reasons to pass the bill from three unique perspectives. I grew somewhat agitated as I noticed that most of the talking to convince the committee to sway both ways was focused around costs and budgets. Daniel from UNMC was a tremendous exception, though, as he elaborated on his duty to give his individual patients the best care possible.  I would have to say that the hearing of LB 891 was one small step for Nebraska, one giant leap for statuses of all kind!

What’s next?

Right now, the bill is in committee. The committee can do one of three things: Advance, Postpone, or Hold it. If the bill is advanced, it is taken to the full legislature for senators to vote on (25 votes needed to advance). This is where YOUR help is needed. If LB 891 is taken out of committee, we need the public to write, call, or visit with senators and let your voices be heard on why YOU think LB 891 should be approved! We’ll continue to keep you updated as we need all the support we can get in these upcoming weeks…

[To learn more about how a bill becomes a law in Nebraska, click here.]

                                                              -Laura from NAP

2:09 pm - Mon, Jan 23, 2012
As I continue to read up on LB891, I am overwhelmed with all this information! So as of right now in the state of Nebraska, you must be 1) below the poverty line and 2) have a condition defined as “Disabled” in order to be eligible for Medicaid. What I can’t seem to understand is why people see it morally acceptable to allow someone to remain uncovered by Medicaid until his or her HIV status turns into AIDS. It is as if we are waiting until the absolute necessary time until we cave in and give patients adequate medical attention. Waiting until the last minute ends up being more expensive, when minimal care up front prevents people from getting disabled. By not passing this bill, we are letting the disease win the battle.
                                                                   -Laura from NAP

As I continue to read up on LB891, I am overwhelmed with all this information! So as of right now in the state of Nebraska, you must be 1) below the poverty line and 2) have a condition defined as “Disabled” in order to be eligible for Medicaid. What I can’t seem to understand is why people see it morally acceptable to allow someone to remain uncovered by Medicaid until his or her HIV status turns into AIDS. It is as if we are waiting until the absolute necessary time until we cave in and give patients adequate medical attention. Waiting until the last minute ends up being more expensive, when minimal care up front prevents people from getting disabled. By not passing this bill, we are letting the disease win the battle.

                                                                   -Laura from NAP

2:56 pm - Fri, Jan 20, 2012
1 note

LB 891- Learning Along the Way…

Hello Everyone!

It’s Laura, the NAP intern. I have been learning about this 1115 Waiver and the political process over these past few weeks just like you. I have been able to see with first-hand experience of working with our NAP clients, that this bill can be extremely beneficial for several reasons! I have seen the long process of HIV+ people waiting for the approval of a disability in order for them to even qualify for Medicaid. This waiver can eliminate the unnecessary stress and waiting period, many of whom during that time become even more sick.

Money is an issue and always will be. That is no question. What we need to convince our legislators of is that LB 891 will be cost-effective for the state and will help reduce HIV transmission rates.

We’ve been fighting to end AIDS by 2015. Let’s continue to push for that ONE BILL at a time! Stay tuned for more updates as we learn along the way…

3:14 pm - Mon, Jan 9, 2012
23 notes

Big Day! Let’s fix the Medicaid “Catch-22” for people living with HIV!

Today State Senator Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha introduced a bill that would initiate the process for Nebraska Medicaid to expand coverage to low-income people living with HIV through a Section 1115 Waiver.

Current law requires people living with HIV to wait until they are disabled by AIDS to qualify.  Wouldn’t it make sense, and save a lot of money,  if we treat people before they get disabled and keep them from becoming disabled?  Early treatment is cost effective and prevents transmission.

Now it’s our turn, Nebraska! Let’s let our policy makers know that Senator Nordquist’s bill (LB 891) is a FANTASTIC idea!!

Read more about it here!

11:09 am - Tue, Jan 3, 2012
18 notes

ahfspeakout:

This is a quick look back at some of the key breakthroughs, wonderful events, advocacy efforts, and growth that AIDS Healthcare Foundation and our supporters saw in 2011. (Click for more info.)

(via roadtoaids2012)

3:46 pm - Thu, Dec 29, 2011
12 notes
pozmagazine:

The Year in Review
Here are the most momentous, heartwarming, horrifying and strangest stories of 2011 as selected by the editors of POZ, as well as the top news and treatment stories, the top blog entries and the most commented stories. Click here to check them out.

pozmagazine:

The Year in Review

Here are the most momentous, heartwarming, horrifying and strangest stories of 2011 as selected by the editors of POZ, as well as the top news and treatment stories, the top blog entries and the most commented stories. Click here to check them out.

3:20 pm - Wed, Dec 7, 2011
6 notes

HIV is Not a Crime 
Watch a trailer from a new documentary by POZ founder Sean Strub about HIV criminalization. Click here to watch.

HIV is Not a Crime

Watch a trailer from a new documentary by POZ founder Sean Strub about HIV criminalization. Click here to watch.

3:23 pm - Fri, Dec 2, 2011
22 notes

PA boy denied school admission b/c HIV positive: ACT UP, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT AIDS!

News reports around the country yesterday told us the story of a Pennsylvania boy who was denied admission to the Milton Hersey School simply because he is HIV-positive.

ON WORLD AIDS DAY…

THIRTY YEARS INTO THE PANDEMIC…

HAVE WE FORGOTTEN RYAN WHITE?!

UNACCEPTABLE!!

HIV/AIDS stigma is still here, but it’s up to us: you, me, our voices, and the voices of all the people who hear us to END AIDS. 

Change.org has set up a petition on behalf of the boy here.  Please consider signing, passing it on to your social networks, and talking to people about this story and why this is unacceptable.  How much longer will it take for people to understand that HIV cannot be transmitted casually?  That depends on our effort.

ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!


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