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IDSA: ACA Improving Care for Low-Income HIV Patients

In Virginia, ACA enrollment in 2014 associated with HIV viral load suppression

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income HIV patients who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be faring better than they did on traditional state assistance, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDWeek), held from Oct. 7 to 11 in San Diego.

The findings are based on a two-year study of 3,933 Virginia AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) patients who were eligible to move to an ACA health plan in 2014.

The researchers found that, overall, 47 percent of patients made the switch. And, patients who made the switch increased their odds of achieving HIV viral suppression by 45 percent compared to patients who stayed with ADAP.

"Given what we found, it's unfortunate that less than half of those patients enrolled in an ACA plan," lead researcher Kathleen McManus, M.D., a fellow at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va., told HealthDay. One of the next steps, she added, will be to figure out what keeps patients from enrolling.

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