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South Carolina: Some AIDS Patients Face Longer Wait for Drug Assistance

December 7, 2010

The waiting list for South Carolina's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is growing. "Each week we continue to receive applications," said Noreen O'Donnell, manager of the Ryan White program for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. "And in the absence of additional funding, it will continue to grow for the foreseeable future."

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South Carolina currently has 269 individuals on its ADAP waiting list, according to the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. A waiting list of 289 began in March, O'Donnell said. That was cut to around 80 in August after the federal government provided emergency funding.

ADAP received $22.4 million in fiscal 2008, 26 percent of it from the state. This year, just $16.7 million was allocated, 11 percent from the state, said O'Donnell. ADAP currently serves an average of 2,000 clients each month, she said.

Eligible HIV/AIDS patients must have incomes no more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $32,490 for an individual. Most clients have much lower incomes, however.

O'Donnell said new federal ADAP money will be available in April. Until then, case managers are working with those on the waiting list to enroll them in pharmaceutical companies' assistance programs, which help offset the approximately $1,000-a-month cost of needed medicines.

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Excerpted from:
Greenville News
12.01.2010; Liv Osby




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