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U.S. News

Partisan Gridlock Contributes to HIV/AIDS Prescription Wait Lists

June 4, 2010

An estimated 77 Iowans are among the more than 1,000 persons across the country on waiting lists for help accessing HIV medications through state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs).

State governments administer and, with the federal government, fund ADAP initiatives to make the drugs available to low-income HIV-positive residents. The governments are turning to waiting lists to cope with budget shortfalls and competing priorities in a tight economy.

One fear among HIV advocates is that congressional gridlock on how to fund the federal government's ADAP responsibility could force as many as 25 states to resort to client waiting lists until additional money becomes available.

"But what is really of concern to us is that the federal share of ADAP spending has dropped dramatically from about 74 percent to roughly 52 percent," ADAP Advocacy Association CEO Brandon M. Macsata said. "So, as far as we are concerned, the federal government is not living up to its responsibility for this important program."

Almost 80 members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama on May 19 asking for a $126 million emergency addition to the program. "It's abundantly clear that without emergency action the ability for ADAP programs to provide a safety net will be seriously damaged," they said.

The ADAP Advocacy Association is focusing its efforts on freeing up federal funds that would resolve the ADAP waiting lists across the country.

"We are demanding action from the president and Congress," Macsata said. "Whatever it is that you have to do, just come to an agreement and help the nearly 1,100 Americans that are waiting to access the medications we know will keep them healthy and productive," he said.

Back to other news for June 2010

Adapted from:
Iowa Independent
05.26.2010; Lynda Waddington

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Bill by Sens. Coburn and Burr Takes Aim at AIDS Drug Crisis
2014 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report (PDF)
ADAP Waiting List Update: 35 People in 1 State as of July 23
More News on ADAP Funding and Activism

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