Scroll To Top

Groups push for
more funds for Alabama’s ADAP

Groups push for
more funds for Alabama’s ADAP

Alabama's AIDS Drug Assistance Program needs $5 million in legislative funding, its largest funding request to date, to maintain its prescription drug program and $12 million in federal matching funds. ADAP provides medications for 1,100 HIV-positive state residents. Last week, the state senate's finance and appropriations committee approved a general fund budget that would boost state ADAP funding by 42% to provide the necessary $5 million.

However, AIDS Alabama CEO Kathie Hiers said the proposed increase "doesn't put a dent in the list"--the waiting list of people needing assistance from the program. Three hundred people are now on the list, and up to 35 new HIV cases are being reported every month. More than 400 people are expected to join the list next year. And, noted state representative Laura Hall, the senate committee's approval does not mean the increase will pass in both houses of the legislature.

Alabama has 10,000 documented HIV cases. A growing caseload and the longer life expectancy of infected persons have strained state resources. Last year's general fund allotment for ADAP was $3.5 million. When the program was forced to consider cutting 200 patients, the legislature provided a $1 million emergency appropriation.

Hiers said the South receives only one third of federal funds for HIV prevention and treatment, even though the region accounts for 45% of new cases in the United States. Cities of 500,000 people or more, such as New York City and San Francisco, get extra money even though their caseloads have declined, she said. Hiers and other activists are pushing Congress to revamp its formula for distributing Ryan White CARE Act funds. The act expired in September; President Bush has asked Congress to reauthorize it for another five years. "I can't live with this inequity for another five years," Hiers said. (AP)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff