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February 2, 2011

State of Florida to Move 6,000 People From Life Saving AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

The AIDS Institute: "Tampa, FL – In an unprecedented move in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the United States, the State of Florida is finalizing a plan to move 6,000 low-income people from its AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).  The Florida ADAP program currently serves about 10,000 people across the state but officials say they only have enough money left to support roughly 3,500 patients until April 1, 2011 when new federal dollars are expected.

“This is devastating,” stated Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. “Efforts to fill the financial gap from additional state or federal sources have yielded nothing. We are in a perfect storm with the loss of jobs and health insurance, increased infections and increased diagnoses through expanded testing programs, while at the same time State and Federal governments are cutting their budgets.” Ruppal continued, “We are risking peoples’ lives with the potential of treatment interruptions that dramatically increase their chances of becoming resistant to the same drugs that are currently saving their lives.”

"ADAP’s provide HIV-related medications to uninsured and under-insured people living with HIV/AIDS or about one-quarter of the people with HIV/AIDS estimated to be receiving care in the U.S. ADAP is part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, which is funded by both federal and state resources. Receiving medications daily is critical to effective AIDS treatment."