The Westside Gazette

Forum reaches out to people unaware they qualify for free HIV/AIDS Services


Forum reaches out to people unaware they qualify for free HIV/AIDS Services

Submitted by Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council Joint Client

     Many Broward County residents who live with HIV/AIDS are eligible for free or low-cost health services, but don’t even know it.

    To spread the word, the Joint Client/Community Relations Committee (part of the Broward County HIV Planning Council) is sponsoring a community educational forum on Tuesday, March 5. The free session starts at 6 p.m. at Osswald Park, 2220 N.W. 21 Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Refreshments will be served.

    More than 17,000 people live with the HIV virus in Broward County, which has one of the nation’s highest percapita rates of new HIV infections. But those who don’t know they qualify for affordable services may skip getting medical care altogether.

    Experts say receiving medical care is crucial to the individual’s health but also to prevent the spread of HIV in the community. Research shows people whose viral level is almost zero thanks to antiviral drugs are 96 percent less likely to spread HIV to a sexual partner.

    The free forum will feature speakers to explain the eligibility for three large programs:

    Ryan White Part A: The program, run by Broward County, provides medical care, dental care, medications, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, legal services, food bank and other services to people with no other coverage.                                

    Ryan White Part B: The program, run by the Broward County Health Department, provides medications through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, as well as transportation (bus passes), drug co-payment assistance and other services.

    Medicaid Project AIDS Care Waiver: The program provides home health care, food assistance and other services.


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