Improving access to care and treatment for people living with HIV is a top priority for President Obama and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the reallocation of $25 million for AIDS drug assistance to States that have AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists or have implemented strategies to contain costs and delay or prevent a waiting list. This action will provide states with additional resources to improve access to critical HIV/AIDS prescription drugs. This new funding is in addition to the more than $800 million already specifically allocated to the ADAP Program this year.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This program funds primary health care, support services and life-saving medications for more than a half-million low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS each year.
Over the last year, States have been struggling to support the ADAP program. The economic downturn has resulted in cutbacks in State revenue for ADAP activities, which has been compounded by an increase in the number of unemployed and uninsured individuals who are turning to the ADAP program for assistance. In addition, increased HIV testing has identified more HIV positive Americans, and retention-in-care efforts have encouraged Americans to remain in the program.
As a result, more than 2,000 Americans currently find themselves on State waitlists to obtain access to life-saving medication. The $25 million announced this week will provide critical resources to States that have ADAP waiting lists or have implemented strategies to contain costs and limit their ADAP enrollment.
Additionally, HHS expects to award approximately $17.5 million in new Part B Supplemental Grant funds by August 1. States may use these additional funds to support their ADAP programs and may also allocate a portion of their Part B base funding for ADAP services.
President Obama and HHS are committed to responding aggressively to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and ultimately eliminating the need for ADAP waiting lists. But, as Secretary Sebelius emphasized, this is not something the Federal Government can do alone. The Federal Government’s effort to provide care and treatment for Americans living with HIV/AIDS must be a combined effort with States and pharmaceutical companies. Together, we will continue to work tirelessly to improve access to critical prescription drugs, and this week, HHS took an important step forward in this effort.
For more information, see the fact sheet:www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/07/adap.html
To see Secretary Sebelius’ statement, visit:www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/07/20100709c.html