Schaeffer faculty present HIV/AIDS research at Washington briefing
Dana Goldman and John Romley of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics presented new HIV/AIDS research findings to an audience of policymakers, Congressional staff, journalists and advocacy organization leaders on March 11 at a Health Affairs issue briefing in Washington, D.C.
Despite treatment advances that have transformed HIV from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease, hundreds of thousands of Americans still lack optimal HIV/AIDS care. The new research from the Schaeffer Center examined how coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could remove barriers to HIV testing and care critical to treating, preventing and ultimately eliminating the disease.
“The prospect that we could eliminate this disease needs to be taken seriously,” said Goldman, Schaeffer Center Director and professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy.
The research also quantified how appropriate treatment for people with HIV saves money and lives. Early treatment led to life expectancy gains valued at $80 billion for people infected with HIV between 1996 and 2009 and prevented another 188,000 people from contracting the virus, researchers found.
In addition, researchers examined how the ACA may affect existing support through the Ryan White Program for comprehensive care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Whether the ACA signals landmark gains or missed opportunities in HIV/AIDS prevention will depend on coordinated state and federal policy choices to effectively target scarce resources for improved access to optimal care for Americans living with HIV.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh kicked off the briefing, which was held at the National Press Club. USC Trustee Leonard D. Schaeffer was also in attendance.
Goldman was the lead author of the Health Affairs article titled, “Early HIV Treatment In The United States Prevented Nearly 13,500 Infections Per Year During 1996–2009.”
And Romley, research assistant professor at USC Price, was the lead author on the study, “Early HIV Treatment Led To Life Expectancy Gains Valued At $80 Billion For People Infected In 1996–2009.”