The National Minority AIDS Council on Thursday launched a new website as part of its ADAP Beyond the Numbers campaign, an effort to put a face on the ongoing AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) funding crisis.

The state- and federally funded AIDS Drug Assistance Programs supply life-saving drugs to HIV/AIDS patients who are uninsured and/or unable to afford their medications. Waiting lists started to emerge in different states in June 2009 as a cost-containment measure to deal with a shortage in funding for ADAP.

Florida has the longest list of people (3,513) waiting to get their HIV/AIDS medications through the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

According to the Minority AIDS Council adds that at the center of the Beyond the Numbers campaign is a “collection of videos of those who rely on ADAP services to receive their life-saving medications to highlight the importance of these critical programs.”

National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors data show that as of July 7 there were more than 8,600 (.pdf) people who are HIV-positive on an ADAP waiting list. At this point, many pharmaceutical assistance programs are covering people on the waiting list, but nobody knows exactly how long these company-run programs will last.

According to the Office of Minority Health, in 2008 racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. accounted  for almost 71 percent of the newly diagnosed cases of HIV and AIDS, while 73 percent of babies born with HIV/AIDS belonged to minority groups.

The Office of Minority Health adds that African-Americans accounted for 52 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2008. African-American men are 9.8 times more likely to die of AIDS than non-Hispanic white men. African-American women are almost 23 times more likely to die from HIV/AIDS, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

That same agency added that Hispanics accounted for 19 percent of AIDS cases in 2008, despite making up only 15 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanics are 2.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS than whites. Hispanic males were also 2.5 times more likely to die of AIDS than their non-Hispanic white counterparts in 2007, and Hispanic women were 3.6 times more likely to die from AIDS.

According to We Make the Change, a Florida Department of Health initiative, by 2005 about 65 percent of the 100,000 reported cumulative adult cases of AIDS were in minority populations. In 2009, Department of Health data indicated that one in 42 black males, one in 63 black females and one in 113 Hispanic males were infected with HIV/AIDS.

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