NMAC Campaign Puts Face to ADAP Crisis, Launches ADAPAction.org Website

NMAC Campaign Puts Face to ADAP Funding Crisis
Launches ADAPaction.org, Urges Action to Save AIDS Drug Assistance Programs

Washington, DC — On July 7, 2011, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) launched a new website — www.ADAPaction.org — as part of its ADAP Beyond the Numbers Campaign, an effort to raise awareness of the massive funding crisis facing our nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). At the center of NMAC’s campaign is the collection of videos of those who rely on ADAP services to receive their life-saving medications to highlight the importance of these critical programs.

Part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, ADAPs provide medications to approximately 175,000 Americans. But the struggling economy combined with state and federal budget deficits have left the programs with massive funding gaps, even as demand for their services grows. As of July 1, 2011, 13 states have instituted wait lists with over 8,600 individuals languishing on their rolls. Another 17 have enacted various so-called “cost containment” measures including reduced formularies, lowered financial eligibility and enrollment caps.

“ADAP allows almost 200,000 people living with HIV to not only survive but to thrive,” said NMAC Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya.” With access to Anti-retroviral drug therapy (ART), individuals can remain in the work force, pay taxes and contribute positively to society. Providing access to these medications improves health outcomes and prevents much more expensive emergency interventions later. We hope that our campaign will make the case both here in Washington and in state houses across the country that we must act now to preserve ADAP. Thousands of lives hang in the balance.”

HIV medication costs on average $12,000 annually, but only about 17 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS have access to private insurance. ADAP is the payer of last resort for people living with HIV/AIDS that have no other avenue to receive their medications. In today’s climate of budget cuts and deficit reduction, it is critical that the public understand the importance of this and other critical safety net programs.

“It is inconceivable that thirty years into the epidemic, thousands of Americans living with HIV and AIDS still cannot access their medications,” continued Montoya. “ARTs not only save lives, they also dramatically reduce the possibility that a person might transmit the virus to their partner. From the beginning, the U.S. has been a global leader in the fight against this epidemic. We must continue in that tradition now, showing both the moral fortitude and public health foresight to ensure that every American has access to their medications.”