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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Case 5: HIV/AIDS, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (Page 1 of 38)

Case Description

A recent press release from the National Institutes of Health cited a study that found HIV/AIDS drug therapy, especially highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), has extended the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS a cumulative total of 3 million years to date. As one of the researchers noted, “these finding underscore the importance of expanded HIV testing and better linkage to care for people who are HIV-infected, so that more of them can realize the life-extending benefits of HIV therapies (AIDS, 2006).”

Unfortunately, HIV therapies are not readily available to all people living with HIV or AIDS. At a cost of nearly $10,000 per year for a single patient, (Bozzette, 2004) HAART therapy is beyond the reach of most people. Those without health insurance or with insufficient insurance coverage are most at risk of not being able to access the drugs, and it was for these people that the federal government’s Ryan White CARE Act began funding HIV/AIDS drug therapy in 1987(Kates, 2004).

You have been asked to research these questions:

  • How well is ADAP meeting the needs of its enrollees if programs are being forced to use cost-containment measures? Is it time to restructure the ADAP initiative?
  • Provide me with information on HIV/AIDS drug therapy and
  • Research highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) - and find out when it is appropriate to begin this therapy

The following Case background, objectives and exercise will help you think about the question.

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