Armed With New Research, California Tries to Address HIV Disparities

Treatment with antiretroviral drugs can suppress the HIV virus, but only if people who are infected can access and stay on treatment, a multi-state study has found. Among key findings from the national study were that people with HIV who were younger than 30 were more likely to have detectable levels of the virus and that viral suppression was 8 percent lower in African Americans than in whites.

As Rents Rise, Seniors Struggle in Sacramento and Across State

California’s capital is one of the toughest places in the state for low-income seniors to afford rent, according to a new study.

UCLA researchers found that 68 percent of low-income seniors in Sacramento County suffer a severe rent burden, which means half or more of their pre-tax income is going toward housing. Another 17 percent suffer a moderate burden, where 30 percent or more of their pre-tax income is going to rent.

Still Grappling With Provider Access Issues, State Pours More Money Into Denti-Cal

In an ideal world, Jennifer Kent would like to have added 1,000 new dentists across California willing to accept enrollees in Denti-Cal, the state’s low-income dental program, over the past year. Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, the agency that manages the program, has had to settle for a much more modest number: 73 new dentists.

For Low-Income Children, Access to Mental Health Care Varies Sharply by County

Statistics show kids and teens in Orange County use specialty mental health services at a lower rate than children in most other counties in the state. Fewer than 2 percent of Medi-Cal-enrolled youth under age 21 in Orange County consistently received a specialty mental health service in fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

At the other end of the spectrum are counties like San Francisco, where almost 5 percent of San Francisco’s Medi-Cal enrolled kids came into regular contact with the SMHS system in that time. While the percentage differences appear small, they represent potentially tens of thousands of kids in lower-performing counties who are missing out on mental health care.

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