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U.S. News

Obama to Release U.S. AIDS Plan as Waiting Patients Top Record

June 29, 2010

AIDS advocates are anticipating the imminent release of the first U.S. National AIDS Strategy with strong opinions on what it should include.

"Our response to the global epidemic is squarely focused on outcomes, and we need to get to that point in our domestic responses," said Chris Collins, director of public policy at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

Gay men and blacks, disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic, should be a major focus of the strategy, Collins said.

"In the United States, we have a concentrated epidemic among a few populations but we don't have a response that fits our epidemic," Collins said.

Federal spending for both domestic and international AIDS efforts in the 2011 fiscal year is projected at $27.2 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. KFF calculates that some 20 U.S. programs or agencies are in line to receive money in the effort.

The federal-state AIDS Drug Assistance Program is one of the United States' most high-profile HIV assistance efforts. In June, however, a record 1,781 patients were on waiting lists to receive ADAP's help to pay for their HIV therapy. About 125,479 people received assistance through ADAP last year.

Gilead Sciences Inc., which derives about 22 percent of its U.S. sales from the state-run funds, this year expanded its own assistance programs, said Citibank analyst Yaron Werber. The expansion will cover up to $2,400 per year in out-of-pocket patient expenses, Werber said, and it extends a pricing freeze.

One advocate noted that the strategy's release would be an important step toward fulfilling Obama's promise to align priorities among state and federal enterprises fighting the epidemic.

"It's kind of amazing that more than 25 years into it, we've been operating without an AIDS strategy," said Mitchell Warren, executive director of the New York-based AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition.

Back to other news for June 2010

Adapted from:
06.28.2010; Tom Randall, Bloomberg

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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
Advocates Urge Obama to Address HIV in the U.S.
President Obama and HIV/AIDS

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