Posts Tagged ‘HIV/AIDS’

Study: HIV rates for black women higher than previously thought

Posted on: March 9th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

A newly-released study indicates that HIV rates for black women in parts of the U.S. are much higher than previously estimated. The study, released by the HIV Prevention Trials Network, was released on Thursday, just days prior to National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. (more…)

Florida AIDS drug waiting list longest in U.S.

Posted on: February 27th, 2012 by Mikhail Zinshteyn 1 Comment


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.

As waiting list grows, Fla. governor seeks to run AIDS drug program “more efficiently”

Posted on: February 17th, 2012 by The American Independent 3 Comments

Gov. Rick Scott (Photo: flgov.com)

Florida’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list increased to 949 people as of Thursday, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (aka NASTAD).

NASTAD data (.pdf) also indicates that Florida’s ADAP waiting list ranks third in the U.S., with 22 percent of the 4,300 individuals on waiting lists in 12 states.

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program, known as ADAP, is a federally funded nationwide 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.

Michael Rajner, a South Florida AIDS activist, told The Florida Independent that in December’s ADAP work group meeting with the state, “it was reported that the ADAP list would grow by approximately 300 people each month.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, issued a letter last week urging Gov. Rick Scott to “support its ADAP, as well as its Medicaid program, to the greatest extent allowed by its current budgetary considerations.”

In response to inquiries from the Independent about Hastings’ letter, Jackie Schutz, the deputy press secretary for Gov. Scott’s office wrote this week: “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.”

Jessica Hammonds from the Florida Department of Health wrote to the Independent that upon receipt of the Ryan White federal funds,

on September 1, 2011, Florida ADAP began enrolling clients from the waiting list into the program based on projections and program capacity. Since then, the waiting list has been reduced from a high of 4,057 in May, 2011 to 850 applicants as of February 10, 2012. While we expect a wait list into the new Ryan White fiscal year which begins April 1, 2012, much is based on the economy, demand for services, funding and funding needs.

Hammonds added that “to serve additional clients from the wait list, DOH’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS continues to work with federal and state officials as well as with community partners to secure additional resources. The Bureau  also continues to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to simplify and expand access to patient assistance programs throughout the country and participates in negotiations to obtain lower prices for HIV/AIDS medications.”

Report: Florida women face high rates of HIV and unplanned pregnancies

Posted on: January 31st, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

A women’s health report released by the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates this week shows that women, particularly women of color, in Florida are facing mounting health problems related to unintended pregnancies and HIV. (more…)

Michigan receives millions for HIV prevention, has not invested in treatments for those exposed to virus

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by Todd Heywood No Comments

The Michigan Department of Community Health has received more than $6 million for HIV prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and still has a pending request for $1.2 million in additional funding. And while the money will be used to increase testing and assist those who test positive for HIV to receive medical care sooner, the state  declined to request funding for medications that can prevent infections of those exposed to the virus — something that has been proven to be successful at preventing HIV and has even been recommended by the CDC.

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Sex-ed advocates launch ‘Future of Sex Education’ project, propose national sex-ed standards

Posted on: January 11th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments
The first-ever national standards for sexuality education in K-12 schools, part of the ongoing “Future of Sex Education” project, was released this week.

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Florida receives federal dollars for new HIV-prevention approach

Posted on: January 9th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week awarded funds for HIV/AIDS programs that will be used to implement high-impact HIV prevention (.pdf), also known as test and treat, a new “approach to reducing HIV in the United States.”

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Media analysis: Grand Rapids HIV criminal case spurs ‘sensationalist’ reporting

Posted on: January 9th, 2012 by Todd Heywood 3 Comments

An alleged admission by a 51-year-old Comstock Park, Mich., man that he attempted to infect hundreds of people with HIV through unprotected sexual activity and needle-sharing has sparked a media feeding frenzy, which HIV activists and legal experts have roundly censured as “sensationalist.” (more…)