Friday, November 30, 2012

Vigilance on World AIDS Day

White House at nighttime with the Red AIDS Ribbon

The ADAP Advocacy Association, also known as aaa+, encourages people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and supporters to remain vigilant on World AIDS Day.  Despite the tremendous progress achieved over the last year to eliminate waiting lists under AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, there remain nearly one hundred people living with HIV/AIDS being denied access to appropriate, timely care and treatment.  Celebrating World AIDS Day should represent an important first step in the coming year to completely eliminate ADAP waiting lists nationwide.

“World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the struggles, challenges, as well as accomplishments achieved over the decades-long fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Brandon M. Macsata, CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association.  “There is no better example in recent times than what we’ve witnessed over the last 10 years with literally thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS being denied access to the care and treatment in the United States, that we know will keep them healthy, productive members of their communities.  The fight over eliminating ADAP waiting lists has experienced some highs, and lows, but moving forward we need to remain focused on ensuring that not one single person is refused life-saving medication under the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.”

aaa+ and ADAP stakeholders are grateful for the additional $48.3 million appropriated toward the cash-strapped ADAPs this year – which includes the $35.0 million in additional funding announced by President Obama on December 1, 2011.  According to Macsata, however, ADAPs need approximately $190 million in additional funding over current levels to eliminate the years of structural funding deficits, as well as keep pace with current demand.[1]

As of November 15th, there were 87 individuals in 5 states on ADAP waiting lists, including 8 people in Idaho, 58 people in Louisiana and 21 people in South Dakota.

[1] AIDS BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COALITION, “FY 2013 Appropriations for Federal HIV/AIDS Programs,” October 19, 2012.