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September 24, 2007

South Carolina ADAP Wait List Cleared

After a year of support and rallying from members of the AIDS community across the country, South Carolinians living with HIV have received some good news: The wait list for drugs from the federal AIDS Drug Assistance program (ADAP), which had grown to 567 people in April, has finally been cleared.

“We’re very pleased that finally we have been able to eliminate our waiting list after more than a year,” said Lynda Kettinger, director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s STD/HIV division.

South Carolina’s ADAP troubles took center stage last year when four HIV positive people died while waiting for meds. Since then, AIDS advocates have pushed for increased funding to get meds to everyone in the state who needs them. Still, activists now warn that the push for adequate funding must continue, since up to 20 new applications for ADAP treatment come in each week.

“The need is still there, and we’re in a good position to fill that need, but depending on federal funding, we could be back in a waiting list position 12 months from now,” said Noreen O’Donnell, coordinator of the state’s Ryan White CARE program.

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