New Study Suggests Insurance Coverage Could Cut High HIV Transmission Risk for Youth

Youth living with HIV who have health insurance may be half as likely to be at high risk for transmitting HIV than their uninsured peers, according to new research from PolicyLab researchers Sarah Wood, MD, MSHP, Nadia Dowshen, MD, MSHP, and Susan Lee, MPH. The study, published in AIDS, looked at transmission risk and health outcomes of youth living with HIV who had public or private insurance, or pharmacy benefits through the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The researchers found that over a 13-year period, youth with health insurance who visited one adolescent HIV clinic were less likely to have a detectable viral load, or measurement of HIV in the blood, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the same time – a combination that creates the highest HIV transmission risk. Read the study here, and a press release on the new research here.