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HIV Policy & Advocacy

AIDS 2010 Opens with Focus on Human Rights of People with HIV

In keeping with the theme of "Rights Here, Rights Now," the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) opened in Vienna with calls to end discrimination and human rights abuses against people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS, especially vulnerable groups including men who have sex with men, sex workers, drug users, and women and girls. Activists and health experts agreed that it is essential for world leaders to keep their promises to increase funding for universal access to HIV prevention and antiretroviral treatment.

 

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Latest ADAP Numbers Show More than 1400 People on Waiting Lists in 11 States

The latest ADAP Watch, issued by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), indicates that 1,431 people with HIV are on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists as of June 10 -- more than double the number in March. Several states that do not yet have waiting lists have implemented other cost-control strategies or plan to do within a year. To address the crisis, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) have introduced legislation to provide additional ADAP funding for the current fiscal year.

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Gilead, ViiV Healthcare Announce Agreements with ADAP Crisis Task Force for Further Drug Discounts

At a time when AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) across the country are facing budget shortfalls that have forced some to cap enrollment and limit formularies, advocates with the ADAP Crisis Task Force reached agreements with 2 pharmaceutical companies -- Gilead and ViiV Healthcare (the specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer) -- to provide deeper discounts and expanded patient assistance to help low- and middle-income individuals obtain needed drugs. The changes will also help people who are on ADAP waiting lists. As previously reported, in May the task force announced agreements with 3 other companies, Abbott, Merck, and Tibotec.Below are excerpts from 2 press releases from the Gilead and the ADAP Crisis Task Force describing these agreements.

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White House Office of National AIDS Policy Holds First Meeting on Black Men and HIV

On June 2, 2010, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) convened its first ever meeting focusing on HIV/AIDS among black men, a group disproportionately affected by the epidemic. Participants -- included government officials, advocates, policy-makers, and community and religious leaders -- discussed ways to raise awareness about HIV within African-American communities, fight stigma, and encourage people to get tested and access care. The recent meeting helps lay the groundwork for the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which is expected to be released soon.

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ADAP Waiting List Exceeds 1000; Drug Companies Agree to Price Freezes and Expanded Patient Assistance Programs

As waiting lists for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) have grown larger during a prolonged economic crisis, advocates with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) ADAP Crisis Task Force have worked with pharmaceutical companies to control price increases and provide additional patient assistance to avoid draining limited ADAP funds. The task force this week announced agreements with 3 companies -- Abbott, Merck, and Tibotec -- and hopes for more in the near future.

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