Wyoming AIDS drug programs run out of money

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 23 2002 1:00 AM ET

Two key programs in Wyoming that provide antiretroviral medications to low-income HIV-positive state residents will run out of money within the next 45 days, and new federal grant money isn't available until April 1. The state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the Wyoming HIV/AIDS Care Program, both of which are funded through the same $340,000 annual Health and Human Services grant, have nearly depleted their current funds, which were supposed to last through March. Health officials say the money was spent more quickly than planned because of rising costs of anti-HIV medications.

Nearly 80 people in the state rely on the programs for anti-HIV drugs and financial assistance for other components of their health care. Many of these people are uninsured and will have their medications cut off when the programs run out of funds, say AIDS activists in the state. Tonya Cain of the Wyoming AIDS Project said her organization and others like it will likely have to step in and find additional sources of funding to help HIV-positive people in the state who lose access to antiretroviral drugs and other health care services. Officials at the state ADAP and Wyoming HIV/AIDS Care also are working to move clients into drug companies' patient assistance programs.