BY Advocate.com Editors
March 09 2010 5:15 PM ET
Following the South Carolina house of representatives' vote to cut all HIV/AIDS funding from the state budget last week, local leaders and HIV patients are pushing for lawmakers to reconsider, WIS News 10 reports.
According to the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force, about 3,000 state residents with HIV depend on state assistance for medications through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. That program has been slashed in many states suffering deep budget cuts over the past year.
When the state began funding HIV meds in 2006, hundreds of people were on a waiting list for the drugs.
"The funding from the legislature ensured that we could eliminate that wait list, to get these 600-plus people that were in waiting to get medication off of that list and to ensure they got well [and] got back to work," said Bambi Gaddist of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force.