More than 7,400 (.pdf) people in 10 states are still on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists. Half of them, almost 3,700, live in Florida.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (known as ADAP) 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.
The National Minority AIDS Council reports that while 10 states have waiting lists, “another 17 states and Puerto Rico have instituted various cost-containment measures, including reduced formularies and program eligibility.”
Florida is considering restricting eligibility for its program, a cost-containment measure that if approved would disqualify a person who earns $30,000 a year. HIV/AIDS drugs cost between $10,000 and $20,000 a year.
A video released by the National Minority AIDS Council highlights that “ADAP is a matter of life or death”:
According to The Florida Current, “Tom Liberti, chief of the state’s AIDS Drugs Assistance Program, told Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron that the there won’t be a shortfall in the Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program.”
Late last week, Elton John and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., wrote in an opinion piece:
All 50 states now have assistance programs for people with low income, living with the disease. But, in an increasing number, the need for these medications is greater than federal and state funding. As a result, 13 states have already reduced the amount of drugs offered – and increased the number of people on waiting lists.
The article points out that in Florida, “one in every 205 white men, one in every 113 Latino men, and one in every 42 African-American men is HIV-positive.”