A report released today shows that more than 4,020 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are now on the waiting list for the taxpayer-funded AIDS Drug Assistance Program, an increase of at least 270 since early August.

According to ADAP Watch (.pdf) issued by the National Alliance of States and Territorial AIDS Directors, as of Sept. 1 almost 9,300 people in 11 states are on Drug Assistance Program waiting lists. With more than 4,020, Florida has 43 percent of that total, the longest waiting list in the nation.

The 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. It has been in a funding crisis since last year.

Florida — along with 19 other states — has implemented cost-containment measures such as reduced prescription drug lists. Since April the state has been considering changing its income eligibility requirements from 400 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent.

If approved, 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.

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