Increased Federal Funding Will Eliminate ADAP Wait Lists

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In advance of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the federal government has allocated nearly $800 million in additional funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs, which should allow everyone now on state waiting lists to access treatment.

"The entire Administration is dedicated to fulfilling President Obama's goal of an AIDS free generation and today's announcement is one more step in that ongoing effort," Sebelius said. "These grants will help make a real difference in the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, especially those in underserved communities."

Obama has recently come under criticism from activists after he indicated that he would not be attending the AIDS conference in person, but would instead deliver a video welcome.

According to ADAP Watch, compiled by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), a total of 2030 individuals in 9 states were on ADAP wait lists as of July 12, 2012. This number increased a bit since the June 14 report, which saw the total dip below 2000 for the first time since July 2010. In August 2011, the total rose above 9000 for the first time ever.

States with waiting lists are mostly in the Southeast, where HIV largely affects low-income people and people of color. The states with largest lists are Virginia (579), Georgia (429), Louisiana (294), and North Carolina (273).

Of the new funding announced this week, approximately $69 million will be allocated to ADAP programs in 25 states and territories. Based on estimates provided by the states, this should eliminate existing wait lists, according to a DHHS press release.

The remaining $10 million will be distributed to Ryan White Act community-based health clinics nationwide, enabling them to offer essential services to 14,000 more people living with HIV/AIDS.

After these awards are made, an additional $6 million in supplemental funding will be available to states that demonstrate ongoing need.

Some of the new funding is provided through the Affordable Care Act, which House Republicans recently voted to repeal, although the measure is given no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate.

"With these funds, we're putting the National HIV/AIDS Strategy into action," said Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Mary Wakefield. "These investments allow us to further improve access to lifesaving drugs, and increase access to HIV care and treatment for Americans living with HIV."

7/20/12

Sources

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Investment by Obama Administration will eliminate ADAP wait lists. Press release. July 19, 2012.

NASTAD. ADAP Watch. July 16, 2012.