November 4, 2009
With Nearly 100 People, Kentucky ADAP Waiting List Is Longest in U.S.
Kentucky’s AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP), which offers free or inexpensive drugs to low-income HIV-positive residents, has the longest waiting list in the country, The Associated Press reports. More than 1,200 people are enrolled in the program, and nearly 100 are on the waiting list, which started in June.
As of last month, eight states have ADAP waiting lists. Nebraska has the second longest, with 75 people awaiting treatment assistance.
“We have 20 to 30 people coming in every month, and everyone who comes in goes on the waiting list,” said Sigga Jagne, Kentucky’s HIV/AIDS program manager. “Nobody is coming off the list.”
Demand for the state’s program has gone up during the recession, but federal funding has decreased from about $4.8 million in 2005 to about $4.5 million this year. Kentucky’s contribution to ADAP ceased in 2007. It is not yet known how much it would cost to remove the waiting list.
“The state has an obligation to take care of those who cannot care for themselves, and that includes low-income AIDS patients,” said State Representative Tom Burch (D–Louisville). “Plus it’s extremely shortsighted to cut a preventive drug program like this. If somebody goes into full-blown AIDS and has to be hospitalized, now we’re all spending the big bucks.”
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