$69 Million Announced by Obama Administration Today to “Eliminate Any Waiting Lists” Was Appropriated at End of 2011; 2,000 People Living with HIV/AIDS Have Been Languishing on AIDS Drug Assistance Program Waiting Lists While This Distribution Has Been Delayed
While Hopeful This Funding Will Truly Eliminate ADAP Waiting Lists, AIDS Healthcare Foundation Hopes It Is Not “Just More Spin”
WASHINGTON D.C. (July 19, 2012) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today responded to news from the Obama Administration that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be distributing $69 million to 25 states in the hopes of eliminating waiting lists for lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications through state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs.
“Though well-timed PR-wise for the upcoming start of the International AIDS Conference, the funding that was announced today is not new money. It was actually appropriated at the end 2011 and is only now being distributed. Meanwhile, thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS have been languishing on ADAP waiting lists while this funding distribution was delayed,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Added Weinstein: “It is our sincere hope that these funds do indeed end the U.S. waiting lists for lifesaving AIDS medications. However, with more than 600,000 people who are HIV-positive in the U.S. not currently in treatment, additional new monies and lower drug prices will be needed to prevent waiting lists from returning. Ultimately, a flurry of press releases in response to criticism is not a suitable substitute for good public health policy and more action from the administration will be needed to ensure that all Americans in need of HIV/AIDS medications have access to them.”
During President Obama’s time in office waiting lists have ballooned from 43 people when he took office in January 2009 to as many as 10,000 people. Currently there are 2,000 people in 9 states on ADAP waiting lists.
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About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,756 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.