THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND PEOPLE
LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS: A ROADMAP TO
BETTER HEALTH OUTCOMES
Since the discovery of HIV/AIDS in June of 1981, more than 1. 8 million
people have been diagnosed with the disease. 1 Since that time, medical
advances have significantly improved the life expectancy of people living
with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). 2 However, many PLWHA have been unable to
access the benefits of these advances because they do not receive regular
medical treatment. 3 Without regular medical treatment, PLWHA cannot
reap the benefits of these advances or achieve the improved health
outcomes that have otherwise become the norm. 4
There is more than one reason why PLWHA do not receive regular
medical care. Commonplace social stigma and pervasive discrimination in
J. D. Candidate, May 2014, Loyola Law School Los Angeles; B. A., University of
California Santa Barbara, 2008. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in the
drafting and editing of this Article. This Article would not have been possible without my
faculty advisor, Professor Brietta Clark, who provided me with invaluable suggestions and
critiques throughout its drafting. Finally, I would like to thank the Annals of Health Law for
publishing this Article and working so hard to improve and update it wherever possible.
1. Kaiser Family Found., HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the
United States 1 (2013) [hereinafter HIV/AIDS Epidemic], http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.
wordpress.com/2013/03/3029-14.pdf. Currently, more than 1. 1 million people worldwide
live with HIV/AIDS. Id.
2. See, e.g., Bernard M. Branson et al., Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of
Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings, MORBIDITY &
MORTALITY WKLY. REP., Sept. 22, 2006, at 2, available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/
rr/rr5514.pdf (describing how treatment has improved the survival rates of PLWHA
dramatically, especially since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy).
3. See Michael Carter, Majority of HIV-Positive Patients in the US Not Receiving
Regular Medical Care, NAM AIDSMAP (Jan. 30, 2012), http://www.aidsmap.com/Majority-
(reporting that an article in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has
suggested that only forty-five percent of HIV-positive patients in the U.S. are receiving
regular medical care).
4. See Jeffrey S. Crowley & Jen Kates, The Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court,
and HIV: What Are the Implications? 1 (2012), http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.