May 24, 2010
Washington D.C. -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS group, praised Republican Senators Tom Coburn (R, OK) and Richard Burr (R, NC) for introducing a bill today that would direct $126 million in stimulus funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address problems with the nation's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). AHF is urging Democratic senators to now quickly show bipartisan support for this lifesaving bill that would address funding problems that have contributed to waiting lists in as many as 11 states and other program cutbacks that are threatening the lives of vulnerable Americans living with HIV/AIDS.
"This bill would direct $126 million in unobligated discretionary stimulus funds to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in order for her to address waiting lists and other cost containment measures that have been implemented in ADAPs due to severe financial constraints across the nation," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "These funds will directly and immediately save lives. Just last week, a person on an ADAP waiting list in South Carolina died because they could not access lifesaving antiretroviral drugs. As far as we are concerned, this is stimulus; people with HIV/AIDS who get their lifesaving drugs can continue to work and be productive. We thank the Senators for taking this step to address this crisis. Right now, the bill only has Republican sponsors. As AIDS is not partisan issue, AHF hopes for, and will be seeking bipartisan support among Democratic senators for this lifesaving bill."