Senators Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday introduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which would provide Medicaid coverage for low-income people with HIV who have not yet developed AIDS. Current Medicaid laws allow for coverage only for HIV-positive people who have progressed to an AIDS diagnosis.
"Currently HIV treatments are very successful in delaying the progression from HIV infection to AIDS," Smith said. "We can do better, and we should do everything possible to ensure that all people living with HIV can get early, effective medical care."
The legislation is supported by the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Human Rights Campaign, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and numerous other AIDS advocacy and activist groups. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the House later this spring.