2007 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Walls
AN ACT TO DIRECT THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO DEVELOP AND OPERATE TWO STD/HIV SPECIALTY CLINICS IN UNDERSERVED AREAS OF THE STATE BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2007; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is not curable but may be controlled through early detection and access to specialty care, including antiretroviral medications; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) reports a total of 8,330 people living with HIV disease as of December 31, 2005; and
WHEREAS, MDH surveillance data indicate that 4,244 or 51% of these Mississippians did not access care for their HIV disease in 2005; and
WHEREAS, people living with HIV disease who are not in care typically have greater HIV viral loads and are more likely to transmit HIV to another person; and
WHEREAS, people who are also infected with any other sexually transmitted disease (STD) are more likely to transmit HIV to another person; and
WHEREAS, science-based, age-, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate STD/HIV prevention interventions reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV; and
WHEREAS, the life expectancy of people living with HIV disease who receive optimal medical care is 24.2 years and the undiscounted cost of this care is $618,900.00; and
WHEREAS, the MDH has developed a highly successful STD/HIV specialty center in the Jackson Medical Mall in collaboration with Mall Services, LLC and the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and
WHEREAS, north central Mississippi and southwest Mississippi have limited access to primary HIV care; and
WHEREAS, the statewide MDH AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) HIV viral medication resource of last resort is now spending more money than allocated for that purpose in Mississippi's Ryan White Title II Award; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The State Board of Health is hereby empowered and directed to expand access to primary care for HIV disease, as provided in Section 2 of this act, for not later than December 31, 2007.
SECTION 2. The State Department of Health shall:
(a) Develop and operate two (2) STD/HIV specialty clinics based on the Crossroads Clinics model in the Jackson Medical Mall in or near north central Mississippi and southwest Mississippi;
(b) Provide HIV antiretroviral medications to any Mississippi living with HIV disease unable to pay and/or qualify for various assistance programs free of charge; and
(c) Incorporate science-based, age-, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate STD/HIV prevention and education messages and interventions through clinic and outreach encounters in the counties immediately surrounding the clinics.
There is created a STD/HIV fund in the State Treasury for expenditure by the State Department of Health for the projects authorized under this act subject to appropriation therefor by the Legislature. Any funds that are not expended by the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.