RD142 - 2021 Virginia Medication Assistance Program – July 1, 2021
Uninterrupted access to HIV treatment is key to achieving long-term viral suppression for people with HIV infection resulting in optimal individual health outcomes and prevention of HIV transmission. The Virginia Medication Assistance Program (VA Map), formerly the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, is a state-administered program authorized under Part B of the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 that provides access to HIV medications to low-income people living with HIV who have limited or no health coverage. VA MAP provides access to medications directly and through the purchase of health insurance coverage on the federal Marketplace. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 requires that VA MAP serve as the payer of last resort. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides federal oversight of Ryan White Part B and VA MAP.
Because eligibility for Medicaid in Virginia expanded January 1, 2019, a significant number of clients who previously received access to HIV medications from VA MAP now receive coverage through Medicaid. Use of Medicaid is beneficial to clients as it provides comprehensive coverage for their health and medication needs beyond HIV-related services. Transitioning eligible clients to Medicaid allows the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to redirect some funds to expand HIV services to meet the changing needs of people living with HIV and further efforts to eliminate HIV in the Commonwealth of Virginia (the Commonwealth).
Additional strategies to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and reduce HIV transmission include use of new long-acting antiviral medications, rapid access to HIV medication for people newly diagnosed with HIV, and structural/technology enhancements to improve service delivery.