During the month of August, 110 people have joined Florida’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list, the longest waiting list in the U.S.
The federally funded AIDS Drug Assistance Program provides medications for the treatment of HIV and AIDS for people who cannot afford to pay because they are unemployed, uninsured or underinsured.
Florida Bureau of HIV/AIDS data (.pdf) and the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors’ latest ADAP Watch (.pdf) update show that by Aug. 18, 3,861 people were on the Florida’s waiting list. The Aug. 11 ADAP Watch report (.pdf) indicated 3,792 people were on the state’s waiting list, while the Aug. 4 reported 3,751 people on the Drug Assistance Program waiting list.
While Florida’s waiting list increased, the total number of people on waiting lists around the country as of Aug. 18 was 9,201, a drop from 9,217 people reported on Aug. 11.
The Bureau of HIV/AIDS’ latest data also shows that Broward and Miami-Dade counties still have the highest number of people on the waiting list, followed by Hillsborough County.
According to the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, in August (.pdf):
African Americans and Hispanics represent 64% (48% and 16%, respectively) of clients on ADAP waiting lists. Combined, Asians, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and Alaskan Native/American Indians represent approximately 1% of the total ADAP waiting list population. Multi-racial ADAP clients represent 1% of the total ADAP waiting list population. Non-Hispanic whites comprise 25% of clients on ADAP waiting lists.
Almost three-quarters (71%) of ADAP clients are men. One quarter (26%) of ADAP waiting list clients are women.
Florida — along with 19 other states — has implemented cost-containment measures such as reduced prescription drug lists. Since April, the Sunshine State has been considering changing its income eligibility requirements from 400 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent.
Simply put: Under the proposed change, a person who earns $30,000 a year would not qualify for the Drug Assistance Program. HIV/AIDS drugs cost between $10,000 and $20,000 a year.