Thursday, December 24, 2015

#HIV: Texas Cuts Funding to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast HIV Prevention Program


UPDATE 6/8/16:

https://www.texasobserver.org/hiv-planned-parenthood-harris-county/

ORIGINAL POST:

On monday, 12/21/15 I got a message with a screenshot of a letter that had yet to be released to the general public. At first, because it was a leaked image, I thought it was a hoax given what happened over the past summer. That night, I angrily searched for any news outlets that may have released a late report concerning the matter. After that fruitless search, I did what many other bloggers would do, I waited. In my mind the thought of women, especially Black and Brown women who need the services provided by Planned Parenthood in this region being left out in the cold hit me like a brick wall.

Given the ongoing battle for Planned Parenthood to continue participation in the state Medicaid program, which is vital to Black and Brown women, Texas health officials have cut off funding to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's HIV prevention program.The Department of State Health Services informed the Houston-based provider that it would not renew its contract for HIV prevention services which means the screenshot to the left was in fact a true image and not a hoax.

The funds come from a federal grant provided by the CDC and are managed by the state. The grant funding for the current year will expire on 12/31/15. In the notice from Texas DSHS it was stated that “There will be no further renewals of this contract.” This is some very sad and angering news to hear that the Texas is cutting nearly $600,000 in annual funding used for HIV testing and counseling, condom distribution and consultations.

According to the Texas Tribune"Through the grant, which Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has received since 1988, the organization served individuals with HIV in five counties in the Houston area. Since 2014, the grant has funded more than 138,000 HIV tests and helped in identifying 1,182 people with HIV, according to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. No other Planned Parenthood affiliate is currently a recipient of the grant.

“I don’t know who else is going to fill that gap, and I don’t know if anyone can, frankly,” said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “Every time the state cuts these programs in an attempt to score political points ... the true victims here are tens of thousands of women and men who no longer have access to health care that they need.”

It’s unclear whether the state will reallocate the funds to a different provider in the area. A health department spokesman on Tuesday said the state was “working with local health departments in the area to continue to provide these services.”

The state’s move to end the HIV prevention funding is the latest in its ongoing efforts to cut off taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.
"

Here are the stats from the state of Texas, note the number for women, black and Latino:


Figure 2-1. HIV in Texas; People Living with HIV, New HIV Diagnoses,
and Deaths Due to HIV, 2005 - 2014
Figure 2-1. HIV in Texas; People living with HIV, new HIV diagnoses, and deaths due to HIV, 2005 - 2014. Data in Table 1.
Data on deaths is only available through 2012 due to a 2-year lag
in complete death reporting from the National Social Security Index

  • In 2014, 4,405 cases of HIV were newly diagnosed in Texas, an increase of 1.1% from the previous year. The annual number of newly diagnosed HIV cases has remained stable through the last 10 years.
  • Effective treatment has extended the lifespans of Persons Living With HIV (PLWH). As fewer PLWH die from HIV-related causes, and a relatively consistent number of new infections are diagnosed each year, the total number of PLWH grows.
  • As of the end of 2014, over 80,000 persons in Texas were known to be living with HIV. The CDC estimates that an additional 18,000 persons in Texas are living with HIV and are unaware of their infection.



Figure 2-2. Rate of New HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Race/Ethnicity, 2005 - 2014
Figure 2-2. Rate of New HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Race/Ethnicity, 2005 - 2014. Data in following link.

  • Racial disparities in the rate of new HIV diagnoses persist despite declines in the rate of new HIV diagnoses among Black Texans.
  • The rates of new HIV diagnoses appear to have remained consistent in Whites, Hispanics, and persons of Other Races over the past 10 years while the rate in Blacks has decreased. These trends are affected by population growth in Texas during this time period. The Black population in Texas increased by 24% since 2005, while the number of new diagnoses in Blacks only increased by 3% - in other words, population growth outpaced new diagnoses. The number of new diagnoses in Hispanics increased by 20%, while the population of Hispanics grew by 30%, resulting in stable rates of new diagnoses.



Table 2-1. New HIV Diagnoses and Rates among Texans by Race/Ethnicity and Sex, 2014
Males
Females
Total
Race/Ethnicity
Number
%
Rate
Number
%
Rate
Number
%
Rate
White
824
23%
13.9
95
12%
1.6
919
21%
7.7
Black
1,179
33%
75.0
470
57%
28.0
1,649
37%
50.8
Hispanic
1,435
40%
27.4
215
26%
4.2
1,650
37%
15.9
Other
67
2%
10.1
16
2%
2.3
83
2%
6.1
Unknown
77
2%
-
27
3%
-
104
2%
-

  • Despite the fact that Blacks comprise only 12% of the Texas population, over a third of all new HIV diagnoses among in Texas were among Blacks.
  • The vast difference in rate of new diagnoses per 100,000 population between Hispanics and Blacks, despite nearly equal numbers of new diagnoses, are a result of the much larger population of Hispanics in Texas. Hispanic persons newly diagnosed with HIV make up a smaller proportion of the Hispanic population compared to Blacks.
  • The racial disparity in new HIV diagnoses is most stark among females, where Black females have 6.7 times the rate of new diagnoses compared to racial group with the next highest rate.




Table 2-2. New HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Age Group and Sex, 2014
Males
Females
Total
Age (years)
Number
%
Rate
Number
%
Rate
Number
%
Rate
0-14
6
0.2%
0.2
13
1.6%
0.5
19
0.4%
0.3
15-24
990
27.6%
49.3
142
17.3%
7.5
1,132
25.7%
29.0
25-34
1,214
33.9%
61.0
227
27.6%
11.7
1,441
32.7%
36.7
34-44
669
18.7%
37.0
223
27.1%
12.2
892
20.2%
24.5
45+
703
19.6%
15.5
218
26.5%
4.4
921
20.9%
9.7

  • The majority of persons newly diagnosed with HIV are between the ages of 15-34.
  • However, the age profile for persons newly diagnosed varies by sex. A higher proportion of newly diagnosed females are over the age of 25 compared to males. This is likely explained by a recent increase in new infections among young gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM) (see Section 10: Men who have Sex with Men).



Figure 2-3. New HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Age Group, 2005 - 2014
Figure 2-3. Annual Number of New HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Age Group, 2005 - 2014. Data in following link.

  • The number of new diagnoses in young persons age 15-24 has nearly doubled over the last 10 years, while the number of new diagnoses in persons 25-34 has also increased.
  • The wider availability of HIV testing, both through targeted and routine screenings, may be contributing to the decline in new diagnoses among persons over age 35 as the increased availability of testing allows people to be diagnosed earlier in their infections.

  
Table 2-3. HIV Diagnoses in Texas by Mode of Exposure and Sex, 2014
Males
Females
Total
Exposure Category
N
%
N
%
N
%
MSM
3,078
85.9%
0
0.0%
3,078
69.9%
IDU
135
3.8%
105
12.8%
240
5.4%
MSM/IDU
117
3.3%
0
0.0%
117
2.7%
Heterosexual
246
6.9%
705
85.7%
951
21.6%
Pediatric
6
0.2%
13
1.6%
19
0.4%
Adult Other
0
0%
0
0%
0
0%
Total
3,582
81.3%
823
18.7%
4,405
100.0%

  • The majority of new HIV diagnoses in Texas males are attributable to male-male sexual contact.
  • In females, the majority of new diagnoses are attributable to heterosexual sexual contact. Females have a higher biological risk of acquiring HIV from heterosexual contact compared to males. This may partially explain the disproportionate number of diagnoses in heterosexual males compared to females.
Source: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/hivstd/reports/epiprofile/sec02.shtm#table2-2

The state of Texas is on a warpath against Planned Parenthood and they are working to defund the organization through exclusions from certain program
s:
  • The state Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, which provides screenings and diagnostic treatment to low-income women.
  • The Texas Women’s Health Program

We cannot continue to allow the state to inflict war on women, especially women who just so happen to be Black and Latino. Regardless of how you may feel about abortion, Planned Parenthood does so much more for women living without insurance and in low income conditions. We need to take a stand and do it now!