Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Is Hepatitis C treatment covered by your states ADAP program; and some facts on Acute Hep C
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) provides HIV/AIDS related prescription drugs to uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS and in a handful of states provides Hepatitis C treatment which consists of interferon-based treatment and Ribavirin.
ADAP funds are used to provide medications to treat HIV disease, or to prevent the serious deterioration of health, including measures for the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections. As a payer of last resort, ADAP only serves individuals who have neither public nor private insurance or cannot get all of their medication needs met through their insurance payer. In order to qualify you must prove an HIV/AIDS diagnosis and be below your states income cap to receive this insurance.
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) are authorized under Title II of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 (reauthorized in 2009). ADAPs are not entitlement programs but are dependent on federal and state discretionary funding, which determines how many clients ADAPs can serve and what levels of service states can provide.
When learning of my co-infection of HIV/HCV I did a lot of research online. How was I going to pay for this treatment, and if I could not afford the medicine, how was I going to get the medicine I needed to stay alive and to stave off a chronic Hepatitis C infection.
During my Hepatitis C treatment I was fortunate to have private insurance which paid for my treatment, but what if I did not have private insurance, or private insurance that did not cover Hepatitis C treatment. Hepatitis C is emerging as a pandemic in cities across the country for those infected with HIV/AIDS, and though most commonly found in people who share needles.. An estimated one-third of people with HIV are also infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is now regarded as a sexually transmitted infection among HIV positive gay and bisexual men. (CROI 2011)Coinfected individuals tend to experience more rapid liver disease progression than those with HCV alone, and they do not respond as well to interferon-based treatment for chronic hepatitis C. But starting hepatitis C therapy early, during acute infection, can lead to better outcomes. Acute HCV infection is often asymptomatic, but HIV positive men have a better chance of detecting HCV early because they undergo regular liver function monitoring that can reveal HCV-related abnormalities.
These liver function tests can be shown on your lab work as AST and ALT. A spike in these numbers, or an abnormal reading should prompt your doctor to look into a possible Hepatitis C diagnosis.
About 65% of confected patients with HCV genotypes 1 or 4, and 81% with genotypes 2 or 3, achieved sustained response to interferon-based therapy started during acute infection, researchers reported at CROI 2011.
If you have HIV AND Hepatitis C and wondering if your states ADAP covers Hep C treatment I have done the research for you.
Below you will find a list of states that do and do not provide Hepatitis C treatment.
If you have further questions about your particular states ADAP funding, simply google ADAP and your state name, or e mail me and I will try to answer any of your questions.
All states ADAP funding including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico cover HIV medications. ****
The follow states do cover Hepatitis C treatment
District of Columbia
The following states do not cover Hepatitis C medication
Virgin Islands (US)
The following states cover only interferon but not Ribavirin
The following states cover Ribavirin and NOT interferon
****disclaimer: With the current crisis in funding of ADAP programs Nationally; I would advise that you google your states ADAP program and contact information for that program. States are placing people on waitlists to obtain these medications, and are also reducing formularies.
Thoughts, comments, opinions? Please leave a comment below, or you may e mail me with any questions.
Contact: Kevin Maloney
Posted by Kevin Maloney at 9:24 PM