A Twitter campaign launched by the ADAP Advocacy Association is calling on President Obama to end the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists.
Brandon Macsata, CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association, tells The Florida Independent that his organization “asked people to start at 7 a.m. today and continue through 7 p.m. tonight and to target the campaign toward President Obama and ask him to step up and begin to lead on this crisis.”
“We feel that to this point he’s been pretty quiet,” Macsata says, “and when we’re approaching 10,000 people on the waiting list for the medication we know will keep them healthy productive members of their communities, it’s just unacceptable.”
The AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (known as ADAP) provide 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’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS data shows that as of Sept. 9 at least 4,100 people (.pdf) were on the Sunshine State’s Drug Assistance Program waiting list. Miami-Dade County had 1,055 people on the waiting list; Broward County had 673 people. Hillsborough, Orange and Palm Beach counties each had over 300 citizens waiting.
The National Alliance of States and Territorial AIDS Directors’ latest ADAP Watch (.pdf) indicates that as of last week at least 9,000 people in 11 states were on a waiting list.
That same report shows that more than 4,068 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are on the waiting list, an increase of 46 since Sept. 2 and over 310 since early August. Florida has 45 percent of the total patients waiting, by far the most in the nation.