AIDS Patients in Florida Have Longest Wait to Get Assistance for Drug Programs
September 15, 2010
Health care reform and the new National HIV/AIDS Strategy were two of the topics addressed by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, in a luncheon address Tuesday to the US Conference on AIDS in Orlando, Fla.
State funding for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) is not growing, Sebelius said. According to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), 3,423 low-income or uninsured people were on waiting lists for help as of Sept. 9.
About 50 protesters interrupted Sebelius' speech to demand more federal money for ADAPs.
Sebelius said the Obama administration recently added $25 million to support ADAPs and that she asked for another $30 million in the 2011 budget.
"It would be great to have our budget pass with the additional resources we've requested to make sure we can address the shortfall," Sebelius said. "We're looking for not only the increased federal dollars, but also working with our state partners to say this is a bad way to save dollars in state budgets."
Florida's contribution to its ADAP has dropped from $10.5 million in 2008 to $9.5 million in 2009. NASTAD reports that with 1,570 patients in need of help from ADAP, Florida's waiting list is the nation's longest.
High unemployment, state budget cuts, and increasing numbers of patients all have combined to overtax Florida's ADAP budget, according to Thomas Liberti, chief of the HIV/AIDS bureau for the state Department of Health.
09.14.2010; Marissa Cervallos
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.
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