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Officials from the Florida-based AIDS Institute on Monday presented data at the annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference in Oakland, Calif., showing that more than 321,000 HIV-positive Americans don't have continuous access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs. Institute director of federal affairs Carl Schmid presented data from two recent reports. One study from the Institute of Medicine concluded that 233,069 HIV-positive Americans who know that they carry the virus do not have continuous access to antiretroviral drugs. More than half of these people rely on public programs for drug access, while another 55,000 are uninsured. An additional 88,000 HIV-positive people who are unaware that they carry the virus would not have continuous access to antiretroviral drugs if they were to learn of their infection and seek treatment, according to the report. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached similar conclusions, according to Schmid. The CDC study suggested that more than 212,000 HIV-positive Americans ages 15-49 are not receiving antiretroviral therapy. "These startling statistics, which reveal embarrassingly large gaps in treatment for people with HIV/AIDS in our own country, hopefully will resonate in the halls of Washington as the fate of public financing programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the Ryan White CARE Act are determined--programs that so many people living with HIV/AIDS, who are disproportionately poor and uninsured, rely on," said Schmid in a press release.