American Indians and Alaska Natives have the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the United States. They are also more likely than individuals with HIV/AIDS from other racial and ethnic groups to receive treatment at later stages of the disease and have shorter life spans. The Indian Health Service (IHS), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides health care services, including HIV/AIDS treatment, to eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives. IHS patients with HIV/AIDS may also receive care through other sources depending on their access to private health insurance or their eligibility for other federal health care programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. GAO examined the extent to which IHS provided (1) HIV/AIDS prevention services and (2) HIV/AIDS treatment services. GAO also examined (3) what other HIV/AIDS-related initiatives IHS has undertaken. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials from IHS headquarters, area offices, and IHS-funded facilities, as well as advocacy groups. We also conducted site visits in two IHS areas.
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