May 21, 2010
In Columbia on May 27, AIDS advocates will gather to call for emergency funds for South Carolina's AIDS Drug Assistance Program. State lawmakers cut ADAP's funding in March, and as of May 13, 92 people were on a waiting list to receive HIV/AIDS medications through the program. Activists say at least one ADAP applicant has died while waiting for assistance, and there are rumors of other such deaths. "The first thing we need is for our Legislature to provide emergency monies in the state budget for ADAP," said a statement from Karen Bates, a member of the activist group SC-C2EA. "The second thing we need is for Gov. Sanford to approve such a budget and stop this needless death and suffering." The most recent survey by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors reports that ten states now have ADAP waiting lists, containing a total of 1,004 patients needing assistance to access HIV/AIDS drugs.