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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 27 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 30
Obama administration will end ADAP waiting lists
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Obama administration will end ADAP waiting lists

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced new grants by the Obama administration intended to eliminate waiting lists for life-saving HIV drugs and medical care.

In a July 19 statement, HHS said nearly $80 million would be made available through the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a joint state-federal program providing FDA-approved HIV meds to low-income patients.

'The entire Administration is dedicated to fulfilling President Obama's goal of an AIDS-free generation, and today's announcement is one more step in that ongoing effort,' Sebelius said.

'These grants will help make a real difference in the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, especially those in underserved communities.'

Of the $80 million earmarked for HIV/AIDS care, $69 million will be sent to states and territories to offset cuts in state ADAP funding and to eliminate ADAP waiting lists. As state revenues declined as a result of the national financial crisis, some state governments cut back on ADAP and instituted waiting lists for new applicants.

Some 25 states and territories are slated to receive money. Washington will get more than $1 million, including $340,512 to support existing programs and an additional $660,158 for new ones.

The rest of the money will be distributed to Ryan White community-based health clinics nationwide, to expand essential medical and support services to 14,000 more people living with HIV/AIDS.

These funds will also help states and communities fulfill the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, HHS said, particularly efforts to increase access to HIV care and to reduce HIV-related health disparities.

In its statement, HHS notes that 'a portion of this funding was made available through the Affordable Care Act.'

Each individual clinic received a grant of $38,000. Three of them are in Washington: Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle; the Community Health Association of Spokane; and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, in Toppenish.

In addition to the $80 million, HHS said, an additional $6 million in supplemental funding will be made available through the remainder of 2012 to states that demonstrate ongoing need.

'With these funds, we're putting the National HIV/AIDS Strategy into action,' said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within HHS.

'These investments allow us to further improve access to life-saving drugs, and increase access to HIV care and treatment for Americans living with HIV.'

S The grants are funded by HRSA through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

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