Coloradans Account for About One-Third of HIV-Positive People on ADAP Waiting Lists Nationwide
April 6, 2004
Although less than 1% of the country's HIV-positive population live in Colorado, the state has 280 people living with HIV/AIDS on its AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list, which represents about one-third of the total number of people on ADAP waiting lists nationwide, the Denver Post reports (Auge, Denver Post, 4/4). ADAPs -- which are supported with both state and federal funds -- provide HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals. As of January, 15 states had waiting lists or access restrictions for their ADAP programs, according to an "ADAP Watch" released by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/2). In July 2003, state officials capped funding for Colorado's ADAP at a level that covers an average of 750 patients a month and limited the type of drugs covered by the program to antiretrovirals, effectively excluding treatments for opportunistic infections. In addition, the program does not cover Fuzeon, the "newest and most expensive" antiretroviral drug, the Post reports (Denver Post, 4/4). The reasons for the state's "disproportionately long" waiting list are not known, the Associated Press reports. AIDS advocates and health officials say that recent layoffs and longer life expectancies for people living with HIV/AIDS, among other factors, are contributing to the problem. Colorado AIDS Project Executive Director Deirdre Maloney said, "We're seeing a lot of increased need ... not just new infections but more poverty. More people are meeting the eligibility requirements (for ADAP) because they are out of work and financially strapped" (Associated Press, 4/4).
Picking Up Slack
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.