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The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Rick Scott to get public records related to the state's Medicaid AIDS care contracts. 

Protests Continue Over HIV Medicaid Contract

Aug 2, 2018

A fight over who should provide care for patients struggling with HIV and AIDS is growing increasingly bitter as opponents continue to blame Gov. Rick Scott. 

While South Florida continues to have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses in the country, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Latino men have the highest rates of HIV infection among different demographic groups. 

New research shows more promise for using AIDS treatment drugs as a prevention tool, to help keep uninfected people from catching HIV during sex with a partner who has the virus.

State AIDS, Mental Health Changes Spur Protests

Jul 20, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott is coming under fire for his administration's decisions to shift tens of thousands of patients with serious mental illness or HIV into new Medicaid health plans in the coming months, changes that could force many patients to switch doctors.

State Faces 27 Medicaid Contract Challenges

Jul 13, 2018

After a lengthy process that involved awarding tens of billions of dollars in Medicaid contracts, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration now will have to try to fend off legal challenges from health plans that were denied contracts. 

South Florida continues to have the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the country, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.

On average, for every hundred thousand Americans, about 15 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2016, the most recent year of data analyzed by the CDC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several Florida Department of Health locations are recognizing Wednesday, June 27 as National HIV Testing Day with free testing throughout the week.

Casey Brooke Lawson/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

With Florida and St. Petersburg repeatedly ranking high for rates of HIV and AIDS, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened a new clinic on Monday near the Skyway Marina District.

AIDS Foundation Protests Over Medicaid Contracting

Apr 13, 2018

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s headquarters in Tallahassee were the site Thursday of the third demonstration in as many days by supporters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The largest nonprofit AIDS health-care provider in the nation is at risk of being blocked out of South Florida’s Medicaid market.

The Florida Department of Health will begin offering a drug next year to help prevent the spread of HIV.

Supreme Court Ruling Defines ‘Sexual Intercourse’

Mar 20, 2017

In a case stemming from a law that requires HIV-infected people to inform potential sexual partners about the disease, the Florida Supreme Court this week said a legal definition of "sexual intercourse" goes beyond relations between men and women.

For decades, Cassandra Steptoe felt like she couldn't talk about her HIV diagnosis with anyone.

"I couldn't forgive myself for getting HIV," says Steptoe, who spent much of her early adult life in and out of jail for shoplifting and burglaries linked to her IV drug use. "But someone told me a long time ago, if you are looking for a reason to feel shame, you can always find it. I learned to look for something else: forgiveness."

The Florida Department of Health is pushing back against the Tampa Bay Times for criticizing a revision in the number of the new HIV cases in the state.

State Surgeon General John Armstrong, who heads the Florida Department of Health, has faced scrutiny from lawmakers recently on a number of high-profile issues. The issues include the state's rising HIV rate, cuts to county health departments and 9,000 kids who lost places in the Children's Medical Services program --- which serves youngsters with "serious and chronic" conditions --- under a new eligibility screening process last year.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it will now allow gay men to donate blood, but there's a catch.

Associated Press

Today is World AIDS Day, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is first in the nation when it comes to newly diagnosed cases of HIV--the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

In 2013, Florida had more new cases of HIV than anywhere else in the nation. When it comes to the presence of HIV in Florida, the state’s six largest metropolitan areas could be states unto themselves.

You can join us and be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall on the rising tide of HIV infection in Florida. 

President Barack Obama is unveiling an updated national strategy Thursday to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic that could have a big impact in Florida, which leads the nation in new HIV infections.

The White House unveiled the first national HIV plan in 2010, with ambitious, measurable goals: reduce new HIV diagnoses, increase the number of youth with an undetectable HIV viral load, and reduce the death rate from AIDS.

There’s been positive progress on all those, and there’s been a drop in the number of women, heterosexuals and IV-drug users contracting the disease.

A new Florida law kicking in today makes getting an HIV test easier. Doctors no longer need written consent to give patients an HIV test in health care settings, like doctor’s offices and hospitals.

The law could have a big impact in Florida, which has more new HIV infections than anywhere else in the country.

Each year in Jacksonville, a nonprofit called JASMYN hosts a prom for LGBT youth.

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie was crowned this year’s prom queen. She’s scared of horses, but loves unicorns. And she sometimes snaps when she talks.

Davinnie holds up a selfie taken in one of her multiple prom dresses.

 

  Florida insurance officials are forcing the health insurance company Cigna to change its prescription drug policy to ensure that Florida consumers with HIV and AIDS can access their medications.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed a workplace safety complaint with the Florida Department of Health, accusing a South Florida-based company of not doing enough to protect its adult film actors, News Service of Florida reports. After successfully lobbying for a California law that mandates condom use in adult films, the group says the adult film industry is moving production to Florida, a state without such a law. This puts performers at a heightened risk for sexually transmitted diseases, the complaint says.

Kamaria Laffrey believes she is living proof that contracting HIV can happen to anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, she's right. 

Laffrey's story is part of the "Faces of HIV" traveling exhibit that is coming to St. Petersburg this weekend for the city's St. Pete Pride event. 

"It can happen to anybody. It's just a virus," Laffrey said. "It doesn't care what your sexual orientation is."