HIV caregivers urge Congress to boost ADAP spending
More than 750 HIV caregivers across the country have sent more than 2,200 personalized letters to their members of Congress asking their lawmakers to boost planned 2004 spending for the nation's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, according to an American Academy of HIV Medicine press release. The letters were sent through a mass mailing campaign coordinated by AAHIVM, whose members provide care for more than 275,000 U.S. HIV/AIDS patients. To date, about half of the AAHIVM members have participated in the campaign.
"HIV providers are giving Congress some serious medical advice," said AAHIVM CEO Scott Hitt, MD. "If left untreated, the ADAP crisis could cut access to vital health care for thousands of HIV-positive patients nationwide. Patients need consistent access to treatment to avoid drug failure, and if we can't guarantee they will get the medications they need, more people will die."
ADAP leaders say spending on the programs needs to be increased by $283 million in fiscal 2004 to eliminate current waiting lists and allow new enrollees into the programs. But the House is considering boosting ADAP spending by $38.9 million in fiscal 2004, while the Senate's spending proposal includes just a $25 million increase. For more information about the AAHIVM campaign or the ADAP crisis, go online to www.aahivm.org.