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Feds release more that $1.8 billion in funds to combat HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

According to an HHS press release, $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues. The additional money is designed to help those programs reduce or eliminate their waiting lists. They also released an additional $40 million to assist states and territories currently refusing coverage for people in need to reduce the number of people waiting.

ADAP provides access to the costly anti-retroviral medications that have turned HIV into a more manageable disease since its appearance 30 years ago. The drugs can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year in the U.S. The program also assists in paying for drugs to treat opportunistic infections that HIV positive persons can suffer as a result of diminished immune functions.

The ADAP Advocacy Association shows that as of Sept. 22, 10 states had waiting lists totaling nearly 9,000 people awaiting access to the life saving medications:

ADAPs with Waiting Lists

(8,785 individuals in 10 states*, as of September 22, 2011)

Florida: 4,098 people

Georgia: 1,732 people

Idaho: 37 people

Louisana: 1,112 people

Montana: 28 people

North Carolina: 354 people

Ohio: 9 people

South Carolina: 367 people

Utah: 59 people

Virginia: 989 people

In addition to funding ADAP programming, the feds also announced millions in funding for direct medical care as well as programming to assist minorities — who are particularly hard hit by the epidemic — in accessing medical care for the infection.

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