Post originally published on Change.org
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) crisis in Florida continues, but there is some encouraging news.
ADAP is an invaluable state program that assists HIV-positive individuals in paying for their very expensive medications. HIV medications are necessary to treat and manage HIV/AIDS and to prevent disease progression. These medications are necessary to keep a person living with HIV/AIDS alive. Indeed, they are the very reason HIV is now a chronic disease, and not acutely life-threatening.
Yet funding for ADAP programs is being cut across the country. One state that has been hit particularly hard with budget cuts is Florida.
As this cause has reported, there have been ups and downs in the push to reinstate Florida’s vital program. One positive step has been the inclusion of Welvista as a resource to those HIV-positive Florida residents who are having difficulty paying for their life-saving medications.
One big negative is that the Florida ADAP program continues to have the highest number of HIV-positive individuals on its waiting list. As of February 24, there are a total of 6,704 people on waiting lists in 11 states. Florida has 3,407 of those individuals on their waiting list alone.
As of February 1, there were just over 5,550 people in ten states on waiting lists. Florida had 2,879 people on their waiting list at that time. This is a jump of 1,154 people nationally, 528 people in Florida alone, and the addition of another state. In just a few weeks. These numbers continue to climb and the ADAP crisis continues to worsen.
In some encouraging news, Florida Democratic U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings recently proposed a budget amendment to Florida legislatures that would move a much-needed additional $42 million to ADAP. Rep. Hastings has a proven record of advocating for some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. This amendment clearly shows his support of HIV-positive Florida residents.
ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) applauded Rep. Hastings amendment. aaa+ continues to be on the front lines of this important battle in Florida, and around the country. With continued advocacy and support from major players like Rep. Hastings, we will see some more relief in this ADAP crisis.
Please join us in signing the petition to tell Florida legislators to reinstate full ADAP. If you have already signed, thank you. Share this with your network and encourage others to support this important cause.
To read the post on Change.org, click here.