Two changes to health care (one actual and one proposed) could make it easier for Americans to access lifesaving tools when they're needed:

  • The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. health care reform, will now officially cover preventative health services for women, including contraceptives and HIV testing, without charging co-payments, co-insurance or a deductible. This could dramatically increase the use of these services, since cost is often cited as a deterrent, and it's one huge step on the road to empowering a group of people at increased risk—women.
  • In the United States it's estimated that one in five people living with HIV don't know their status, and men—especially men who have sex with men (MSM)—remain the population most affected. U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings (D–Fla.) may have the answer. He has introduced a bill that would require Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers to cover the cost of voluntary routine HIV testing for everyone.