Since HIV and AIDS emerged four decades ago, Washington state has served as a leader in fighting the epidemic.
In 2014, the Washington state governor renewed the state's commitment to improving health outcomes and reducing disparities among people living with HIV by issuing a proclamation to end AIDS in Washington.
Still, approximately one in five people living with HIV in Washington state are not virally suppressed, and those from marginalized communities are more likely to experience poor HIV-related health outcomes.
The federal agencies charged with addressing the HIV epidemic recommend that states minimize barriers created by utilization management techniques and include on their medicaid preferred drug lists all HIV treatment regimens described for potential use in the United States department of health and human services' HIV treatment guidelines, including but not limited to single-tablet regimens.
Research suggests that simpler, more manageable HIV treatment regimens, including single-tablet regimens, result in better adherence to treatment for people living with HIV, particularly those also facing barriers such as houselessness, mental illness, and substance use disorder.
Furthermore, research suggests that better adherence to HIV treatment results in lower overall health costs.
When treated, HIV cannot be sexually transmitted. Therefore, improving treatment of HIV is a critical component of reducing transmission and ending AIDS in Washington.
Beginning January 1, 2023, the authority shall provide coverage under this chapter without prior authorization for all federal food and drug administration approved HIV antiviral drugs.
Beginning January 1, 2023, upon initiation or renewal of a contract with the authority to administer a medicaid managed care plan, a managed health care system shall provide coverage without prior authorization for all federal food and drug administration approved HIV antiviral drugs.