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Contractor Protests Cuts to Successful HIV Program

July 10th, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda
A nonprofit state contractor providing what they call the state’s most effective HIV treatment is protesting the potential loss of their contact, saying the funding is instead being sent to for-profit companies.
The protest was well organized.
30 people, mostly employees or contractors of Positive Health Care, came to the Capitol carrying signs bashing big Pharma.
Protesters object to the Governor wanting to give the nonprofit’s HIV contract to for-profit companies.
The contract in question, which has been in place since 1999, covers only Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
“Which are number one and number two in the country for people living with HIV,” said Michael Kahane with Positive Health Care.
But organizers say all of Florida should be concerned.
“If people are falling out of care anywhere in Florida, its going to affect the rest of Florida,” said Kahane.
The program being cut, according to organizers, has the highest success rate in the state.
The group contends patients will suffer.
“And they are eliminating a plan that decreases transmission,” said Donna Stidham with Positive Health Care.
Organizers say their secret is one on one care to prod people to take care of themselves.
Luisa Arce is a registered nurse.
“They will become very ill because because they will not have somebody to coach them and encourage them to go see their provider and to take their meds,” said Arce.
The Agency for Health Care administration says only that providers were selected through a competitive bid process.
The award is being challenged before an administrative law judge.
The bid protest was filed last Friday.
AHCA says HIV care will now be available in all 67 Florida counties.

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