Waheedah Shabazz-El: An Amazing HIV-Positive Woman

Waheedah Shabazz-El, a member of the AIDS Law Project’s board of directors, has been named by HIVPlusMag.com to its list of the 20 Most Amazing HIV-Positive Women.

It’s impossible to imagine any such list that did not include Waheedah. She is an impassioned and relentless advocate for HIV-positive women.

“Because of the stigma that is associated with HIV, I learned early on that in order to live, I had to NOT be silent, but be visible and vigilant,” she told the HIV Philly blog, of Philadelphia’s Office of HIV Planning, in 2012.

Waheedah is an HIV counselor and tester at Philadelphia Fight, but her activism extends far beyond normal working hours to volunteer service with numerous local and national groups.

The AIDS Law Project has been honored to work with Waheedah and we look forward to continuing the struggle with her in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

For the full story about Waheedah on HIVPlusMag.com, go to http://www.hivplusmag.com/people/2015/02/11/no-6-20-most-amazing-hiv-positive-women-waheedah-shabazz-el.

Gov. Wolf to scrap Healthy PA, adopt “traditional expansion” of Medicaid

As you may have heard, Governor Wolf  announced Feb. 9 that he will replace the complicated Medicaid plan put in place by former Governor Corbett with a “traditional expansion.

Corbett’s plan, called “Healthy PA,” offered different benefits packages based on a recipient’s expected need for care.  Gov. Wolf’s “traditional expansion” will have one benefits package for everyone. It will be designed to reduce confusion and streamline the system.

No timeline has been released for the new system. For now, Healthy PA remains in place and current coverage will not be immediately impacted. We will send updates as more information becomes available.

Until the new system is in place, please make sure clients are enrolled in the Healthy Plus benefits package.  Clients erroneously assigned to  Healthy or Healthy PA PCO, have several options:

1. Begin the “raise your hand” process of switching to Healthy Plus by submitting to DHS (DPW) a health screening questionnaire and/or an Employability Assessment Form.  The health screening questionnaire is Appendix C of the Health Care Application, available here.  The EAF should clearly document HIV infection and preferably indicate disability lasting for a year or more.

2. Call the AIDS Law Project at 215-587-9377 during our intake hours – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday – for assistance.

Lancaster County coroner’s private medical practice hit with federal lawsuit for denying treatment to HIV-positive man and his family

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 1, 2014) – A private health-care practice directed by the Lancaster County coroner was sued in federal court today on World AIDS Day by the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania on behalf of a man who was denied treatment because he is HIV-positive.

The denial, communicated in a letter to the man from Stephen G. Diamantoni, M.D., & Associates Family Practice, applies to his wife and his daughter as well. Refusing to treat a person with a disability — in this case, HIV — is illegal under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.  The suit is filed on behalf of “Husband, Wife and Daughter Jones,” who are using pseudonyms because federal rules require that a minor child’s identity be protected in a lawsuit.

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