Finally, some good news for those who are HIV+ or have AIDS.
This past Monday, the federal government announced that it has allocated nearly $2 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic, with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program [ADAP].
According to an Health and Human Services press release, $813 million of that money will go directly to ADAP programming, while an additional $8.3 million will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a crisis of unmet needs and access issues. The additional money is designed to help those programs reduce or eliminate their waiting lists.
ADAP provides access to the costly anti-retroviral medications that have turned HIV into a more manageable disease; many HIV drugs can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year in the US. ADAP also assists in paying for drugs to treat opportunistic infections that HIV+ persons can suffer as a result of diminished immune functions.
This is great news for those people on a "waiting list" to see if they can get their medications. As of September 22, 2010, there were some 9,000, in ten states--including South Carolina--on waiting lists.
In addition to allocating new funds to ADAP, the feds also announced millions in funding for direct medical care as well as programming to assist minorities--who are particularly hard hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic--in accessing medical care for the infection.
Finally, it seems, someone is listening.