Florida AIDS drug waiting list longest in U.S.
Advocates launched a campaign to urge the Florida legislature to secure funding for the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the same week it was announced that almost 1,100 Floridians who live with HIV are on the drug assistance programs waiting list.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, NASTAD (.pdf) shows that as of Friday, Florida has the longest AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list in the U.S. The data also show that over 4,250 people in 11 states are on an ADAP waiting list across the U.S.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program, known as ADAP, is a nationwide, federally-funded payer of last resort for people who cannot afford their HIV/AIDS medications. The program has been in a funding crisis since 2010, which prompted many states, including Florida, to implement cost containment measures (.pdf) such as waiting lists.
In response to the rise in the ADAP waiting list, the Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network writes, “the Florida Senate’s budget proposes an increase for Florida’s ADAP program, but currently there are no recommendations for similar increases from the Florida House of Representatives.”
The Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network has also launched a campaign “to gain support among House members to join the Florida Senate and work together to eliminate the waiting list for Florida ADAP.”
Florida’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS reported in mid-Febraury that 1,000 people (.pdf) were on the ADAP waiting list, and that almost half of those were living in Broward (252) and Miami-Dade (243) counties.
Gov. Rick Scott’s press office wrote to the Independent over a week ago that, “While Gov. Scott did not propose additional funding to ADAP in his 2012-2013 budget recommendations, he is looking at the whole program with the goal of reducing unnecessary administrative costs and making it operate more efficiently so that more people can be served with the funds we already have.”
Other HIV/AIDS advocates and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, have called on Scott to support state funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
DJL, my views are quite simple about this mtater (call them pedestrian if you like):1. Read ALL of Mbeki’s comments at the time (1999 – 2000) and subsequently, and you will find that at no point doe he say HIV does not cause AIDS.2. Read Mbeki’s comments and approach to policy formulation and you will see that he did not approach HIV/AIDS any differently from his consideration of other policy issues (i.e. (1) Identification of the issue/problem/mischief, (2) assess the need for a new policy, (3)Consult with stakeholders, (4) determine requirements to address mischief (5) gather information about existing and/or similar (6) develop guiding principles (7) prepare “draft” policy for stakeholder engagement (8) revise draft policy after stakeholder feedback (9) adopt policy). All this without preconceptions.3. Consistent with this approach stakeholders were engaged, regardless of the merits or demerits of their views, consistent with an open discourse of a serious national crisis requiring inclusiveness. Note that he did not make his own views known as this would invariably align the policy formulation outcome to his own views. The breadth of stakeholders and the inclusion of “denialists” and “dissidents” was interpreted by some as evidence of support for their views. Curiously, the inclusion of “orthodox” scientists was never interpreted as evidence of his support for them. When pressed on this issue, he refused to make his views know as, to paraphrase him, because the very act of making his views known would be acceptance or rejection of a set paradigm (i.e. why consult widely if you have already accepted a paradigm). [“That's one of the issues that the scientists are discussing. I've never made any judgement on that. It is an issue they are debating, Mbeki] 4. With the above in mind read material on the disagreements and debates amongst those who support the HIV/AIDS paradigm about how to address. Some believe ARVs are the solution and disagree amongst themselves on how they must be administered. Some reject ARVs and believe in using all resources on prevention (such as a vaccine) or in finding a cure. Expand the mtater to those who believe HIV does not cause AIDS and their own internal disagreements and you start finding that the consensus that is so often trumpeted does not exist in reality. What to do as a policy make?:you consider the approach that optimizes the resources of your country by doing a total socio-economic need analysis and integrating the HIV/Aids strategy to these other needs. Therefore HIV stops being merely a medical issue but is addressed in conjunction with other things (i.e. you must necessarily educate, therefore incorporate prevention to the curriculum, you must establish sustainable human settlements and shelter, therefore design them in a manner that does not lead to slums and related social ills and eradicate human settlements that tend to facilitate social ills such as promiscuity, etc, you must provide primary health care that eradicates the opportunistic diseases of poverty therefore reducing the likelihood of the degradation of the immune systems of those who are infected, you must foster gender equality and empower women, therefore eradicating the social imbalances that devalue the ability of women to decide on their sexuality, you must strengthen research institutions to facilitate the finding of a cure, you must engage drug companies in international trade organs, the courts, etc, to force them to reduce the price of drugs, which was achieved, etc, etc, etc). All this is more comprehensive than popping a miracle pill, and all this requires more consented effort, and a vision that most journalists do not have. Hence none of this was communicated to our people, hence the summation by many that Mbeki’s acts in combination meant he did not believe HIV cases AIDS. 5. To state that “Lets at least admit that by his “questioning of the link” and influence he had on his ministers it resulted in at least a portion of the AIDS sufferers in this country to die an early death’ is patently absurd and is based on a supposition that ARVs work. Yes I support people being given the choice to pop the pill but I reject the efficacy of ARVs. Frankly, I believe they are a poison and suggest that you read of them in detail (read particularly the recent findings of the “antiretroviral therapy Cohort Collaborative, read also about the FDA approval of AZT and the dodgy process that was followed, read also of the so-called concorde study). Any “treatment” that has a 50/50 chance of treating you and also has a 50/50 chance of actually killing you IS A POISON. To use the analogy of chemotherapy (as I know some will do) is simply disingenuous, after all you do not have chemotherapy everyday until the day you die (but you must take a drug everyday until you die, a drug which was created precisely to kill cancer cells and was found to kill them AND the healthy cells! For your information, and I know this for a fact and not from hearsay, Mbeki does believe HIV causes AIDS but he rejects ARVs as the biggest con in history and his biggest regret in his professional life is not to having spoken out more against them. He believes that the focus should be on prevention (including the search for a vaccine), treatment of the opportunistic diseases, and the search for a cure. He believes firmly that the disengagement between the orthodox and dissident scientists is self defeating as they respectively run the risk of not being able to consider relevant factors and/or considering irrelevant factors. As stated in one of my other postings, speak to any individual in townships where ARVs have been rolled out and ask them how many young people are dying from anemia and other side effects of ARVs (what killed them, AIDS or the ARVs, or is this irrelevant because, argh, they were in any event going to die anyway?). Lastly, (and mark my words) South Africa and India are going to become the most important revenue base for the big pharma peddlers of ARVs. We are going to have problems with increased resistance and therefore the need for stronger ARV combinations, we are going to see ordinary diseases becoming drug resistant (like the recent TB cases, only worse) as more and more people with HIV and on ARVs inadvertently spreading the more resistant strains to non-HIV individuls, we are going to see higher levels of HIV infection as more and more people accepting HIV as an ordinary disease “curable” with ARVs. As all this happens, with PdV being the chief praise singer, Big Pharma will be reaping handsome rewards from this travesty, spending R&D on more sophisticated ARVs and not cures or vaccines (because of the higher returns). The scandal is bigger than the arms deal!!!! Mark my words.