That’s what these HIVers and advocates shouted as they stormed Congress to demand funds for the program that gets the neediest of us our meds
Twenty-five percent of all American HIVers get their meds through their state’s federally funded AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). But in recent years, due to rising drug costs, state-budget crises and “No!”-voting Republicans, more and more HIVers are shut out: As of April, more than 1,200 folks in nine states languished on ADAP waiting lists (longest in North Carolina, Colorado and Alabama), while seven other states have capped enrollment or cut costs. Not your state? That may change if the feds boost HIV cases with their new testing campaign without coughing up meds money. The ADAP alternatives? Jump through hoops for Pharma’s patchwork charity programs or get sick and poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.
On February 24, 100 people with HIV (not all shown here) and their advocates lobbied Capitol Hill for the $122 million needed to fully fund ADAP for 2004. The trip wrought no miracles, but, as the following pages show, it forged bonds among activists from across the U.S., creating a solid base for a possible follow-up trip in September. Wanna join the Save ADAP crusaders? Visit www.atac-usa.org/adap.html or call Ryan Clary at 415.558.8669, ext. 224.