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Alabama lawmakers approve ADAP spending bill

Alabama lawmakers approve ADAP spending bill

Alabama lawmakers late last week approved, and Gov. Bob Riley signed, a bill that will provide a $1 million emergency appropriation for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the Birmingham News reports. Budget shortfalls would have required the program to cut 200 low-income HIV patients from the program effective Friday, but the new money now allows those participants to remain in the program, which provides free anti-HIV medications to those who cannot afford the drugs. The bill passed unanimously in both the Alabama house and senate. While AIDS advocates praised the lawmakers and governor for the emergency appropriation, they note that the program still faces ongoing financial problems and could run out of money again by this fall. The emergency appropriation also does nothing to help the nearly 600 low-income HIV-positive people on a waiting list for the program, says Kathie Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama. Alabama's ADAP has the longest waiting list of any such program in the country.

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