The inadequate approach to linking formerly incarcerated inmates living with HIV/AIDS in the United State to timely access to care and treatment gained an important spotlight. This week, National Public Radio's public health feature by Heather Boerner, "After Prison, Many People Living With HIV Go Without Treatment," draws attention to formerly incarcerated people struggling to get health care and treatment for HIV on re-entering society.
The ADAP Advocacy Association has elevated the issue among its public policy portfolio this year, highlighted by its Correctional Health Project — which has included numerous blog posts, an infographic, and forthcoming policy white paper on the role of the State AIDS Drug Assistance Programs ("ADAPs") serving these people. As noted on July 5th by our intern, Jonathan J. Pena, "Programs do exist, such as State ADAPs, which are designed to assist these individuals. But the most recent National ADAP Monitoring Project demonstrates that ADAPs are assisting some of these individuals, it is also clear more can be done to assist them. The National AIDS Strategy also provides some guidance to help formerly incarcerated populations achieve viral suppression."
|Photo Source: Kenyon Ellsworth for NPR|
Boerner's article examines a recent study about post-incarceration release and the disparities that exist in gaining access to healthcare (including anti-retrovirals medications). Unfortunately, nearly one-third of the inmates tracked had fallen out of care within one year after being released from prison or jail.
It isn’t to say that incarcerated and formerly incarcerated HIV-positive populations aren’t being served by the ADAPs. According to the National Monitoring Project’s annual report, services provided to recently incarcerated individuals in 2016 shows that 42% were receiving federal funds for ADAP-related services; however, 64% of those who were currently incarcerated in county or city jails were not being provided any services because the reach of ADAP doesn’t include jail divisions.
Our forthcoming policy white paper aims to shed further light on the issue, with recommendations. We commend NPR and Boerner for covering this important issue on health disparities for former inmates living with HIV/AIDS.
 Pena, Jonathan J. (2018, July 5). Linkages to Care During Post-Incarceration. ADAP Blog. Retrieved from https://adapadvocacyassociation.blogspot.com/2018/07/linkages-to-care-during-post.html.
 Boerner, Heather (2018, October 9). After Prison, Many People Living With HIV Go Without Treatment. National Public Radion. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/09/655890525/after-prison-many-people-living-with-hiv-go-without-treatment?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social.
 National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (2018). National Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B & ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report. Retrieved from: https://www.nastad.org/sites/default/files/Uploads/2018/2018-national-rwhap-partb-adap-monitoring-project-annual-report.pdf