Two of the largest professional associations of HIV clinicians in the United States have sent letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) challenging cost control policies, according to a statement from the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project (NATAP). They claim the policies are effectively barring many HIV docs from prescribing treatments for patients coinfected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) are urging CMS to discontinue and re-evaluate insurance restrictions under their health care plans that exclude HIV providers who are not specifically trained as gastroenterologists, hepatologists or infectious disease specialists from prescribing the latest hep C medications to their patients.

About 30 percent of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV also have HCV. The new hep C meds are much safer and more tolerable for people living with HIV, and they are showing up to 100 percent HCV cure rates.