How ACA affects vulnerable Americans living with HIV/AIDS

March 3, 2014

Contact: Eddie North-Hager at (213) 740-9335 or; Kim Rymsha at (202) 745-5054 or

A series of papers in the March issue of Health Affairs examines how the Affordable Care Act could affect two sectors of the most vulnerable Americans — those living with HIV/AIDS and people who have recently cycled through  jail.


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A briefing about the March issue of Health Affairs and these findings will take place at the National Press Club on Tuesday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. For more information, contact Debbie Boylan at

The issue features several studies by researchers with the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, one of the nation’s premier policy research centers dedicated to promoting health and value in healthcare delivery through innovative research and policy, including:

When it comes to HIV treatment, timing is everything

Dana P. Goldman, Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Director of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, and coauthors modeled HIV transmission and prevention based on when HIV-positive individuals started combination antiretroviral treatment (cART). The researchers estimate that from 1996 to 2009, early treatment initiation in the United States prevented 188,700 new HIV cases and avoided $128 billion in life expectancy losses.

In particular, the researchers highlight treatment at “very early” stages as responsible for four-fifths of prevented cases. They define early treatment as when CD4 white blood cell counts are greater than 500, consistent with current treatment guidelines in the United States.

Early treatment both reduces morbidity and mortality in people living with HIV/AIDS, and decreases the transmission of the disease to the uninfected. The authors conclude that early treatment has clear value for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative populations in the United States.