Representatives of the nation's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and the national ADAP Working Group blasted the House Appropriations Committee Thursday for its recommendation to boost ADAP funding by only $38.9 million in fiscal 2004, less than 20% of the additional funding ADAPs say they need to maintain services. "It seems clear that no one in the Administration has been looking at reports of serious shortfalls coming from the [state ADAPs]," said Lei Chou of the AIDS Treatment Data Network and cochair of the ADAP Working Group. According to the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, there are already 630 people on ADAP waiting lists around the country, 10 state programs had already capped enrollment, and 20 more were planning to implement ADAP restrictions due to funding shortfalls.
"On behalf of the more than 80,000 clients per month being served by ADAPs, and especially on behalf of the thousands that could be prevented from accessing ADAP services if sufficient funding is not made available, we ask that Congress recognize the urgency of the ADAP crisis and appropriate the full $283 million increase this life-saving and life-enhancing program requires if it is to meet the needs of all Americans living with HIV/AIDS," said Bill Arnold, director of the ADAP Working Group. "We must now hope that members of the Senate recognize their own state crises in ADAP and that the White House pays attention to potentially thousands of HIV-positive Americans who will go without access to HIV/AIDS medications."