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Action Alert:
AIDS Drug Assistance Funding

John S. James
AIDS Treatment News

Almost half of all states have already indicated that they may have to restrict their AIDS Drug Assistance Program by the end of 2001. Restrictions can include waiting lists, caps on services, cutting drugs off the formulary, or even closing the program to new enrollment because money is low. Additional states may be affected as well.

Recently we learned that California is looking at its program to decide what drugs to remove from its program if necessary.

The basic problem is that federal and state funding has not kept up with the greater number of patients who need treatment, since people today are living longer. The new guidelines that call for starting treatment somewhat later will help to balance expenses, but is not enough to make up the difference.

On June 14 Project Inform's Treatment Action Network sent out an alert listing some of the states soon to be affected:

In the last appropriations bill, ADAP received $60 million less than projected as needed to provide standard of care for its clients. In addition, the number of new clients and the costs of drugs continue to rise, putting an additional strain on many state ADAPs.

Many programs are expected to face serious problems in the next few months without an emergency supplemental. According to a recent report by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), nearly half of all states have indicated that they might have to place emergency restrictions on their programs this year, such as implementing or expanding waiting lists, capping services, and/or making cuts to the list of available drugs.

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Currently, there are ADAP waiting lists in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Even states with the most comprehensive ADAPs such as California, New York, and Pennsylvania are expected to feel the effects of the budget shortfall.

That action alert asked recipients to call or email President Bush, and their two U.S. Senators (you can find contact information for Senators from their Web sites, which can be reached through

What You Can Do

The ADAP situation is changing daily. To be informed how you can help on this and other treatment and access issues, you can join Project Inform's Treatment Action Network. Send an email to, and ask to receive their action alerts.
AIDS Treatment News
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AIDS Treatment News reports on experimental and standard treatments, especially those available now. We interview physicians, scientists, other health professionals, and persons with AIDS or HIV; we also collect information from meetings and conferences, medical journals, and computer databases. Long-term survivors have usually tried many different treatments, and found combinations that work for them. AIDS Treatment News does not recommend particular therapies, but seeks to increase the options available.

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