In a letter to the IOM Committee Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, HIVMA commented on what additional preventive services private insurers must cover for women.
One quarter of new HIV infections are among women. Black and Latina women are disproportionately affected and comprise an increasing proportion of infected individuals (61% and 16%, respectively, of new infections among all women). Among black women in particular, HIV disease has a devastating impact – depending on the age group, HIV is one of the top 3-5 causes of death for this patient population.
The success of routine HIV testing of pregnant women in virtually eliminating mother to child transmission in the United State demonstrates the potential of HIV testing to improve patient outcomes and prevent HIV transmission. Integrating HIV screening into routine medical care will facilitate earlier identification and linkage to care for individuals with HIV disease while also reducing the stigma that remains a barrier to effective HIV prevention and treatment in the United States.
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