The Thrive Tribe Foundation will begin providing enrollment services for its members in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP – HIV medication), Ryan White Program (doctors and lab tests for the uninsured), and Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment Support Program (OA HIPP – paying health insurance premiums for the self-insured) from its new office in West Hollywood. The office will open in mid-June and the address and other details will be available on the website at thethrivetribe.org.
The programs play a significant role in expanding access to care. These programs are available to everyone living with HIV whose income is less than $50,000 but above $16,500, below which they would be eligible for Medi-Cal. The Tribe, less than 1,000 members strong at the time, led California in OA HIPP enrollments in 2014 with 15 percent of all new enrollments. Of the organization’s current 2,000 positive members, approximately 800 are enrolled in ADAP and 500 in OA HIPP.
The Thrive Tribe provides its services free of charge as part of its commitment to ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to effective and affordable health care and achieves viral suppression. Studies show that those who have “undetectable” viral loads have little chance of transmitting the virus. Tribe members, who are state-certified enrollment workers, will staff the program. The team already assists members with accessing a broad range of services, such as Covered CA, doctor referrals and housing. As Tribe members themselves, the enrollment staff understands the experiences of those they help.
Kevin Salter, Thrive Tribe’s executive director, promised enrollment staff would enroll applicants swiftly. “People living with HIV need access to affordable, high-quality health care—including medications,” Stalter said. “We will assist members with the paperwork, which will ensure they can get the care they deserve. The goal is to help avoid the frustration and errors that so often go with the enrollment process for these programs. The goal is ‘fast & efficient processing’ – not an entire day or long wait times. If your appointment is at 2 p.m., we will see you at 2 p. . and have you on your way in under an hour.”
The Thrive Tribe Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to achieve zero transmission of HIV with or without a cure, by reinventing the HIV story and developing connected communities through support and education. To realize this goal, the Thrive Tribe provides opportunities for people to learn, heal and meet like-minded people on a similar journey. The Tribe offers healthcare navigation services, conducts educational campaigns and esteem building and stigma reduction activities and advocates for a more informed, accepting and compassionate society. The Tribe not only helps HIV positive members but assists negative men in obtaining access to pre-exposure prophylaxis medication (PrEP).
The Foundation will host an open house for members in June. It will host a grand opening on June 11 for city officials, friends of the Foundation and donors who give $50 per month or $600 or more annually or more during its pledge drive.