Posts Tagged ‘sex ed’

MSNBC rejects ad criticizing frequent guest Tony Perkins

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by The American Independent 3 Comments

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MSNBC on Tuesday rejected an ad critical of Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council and a frequent guest on the network, according to the group that produced the ad. (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.

Patient advocates concerned about future of AIDS Drug Assistance Program

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments
Despite a significant drop in the number of patients on Florida’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list there are still concerns about that number rising over the coming months.

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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…)

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 teen pregnancy task force: Abstinence-only sex education not enough

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments
Last month, the Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force released a report outlining recommendations for dealing with the region’s persistent teen pregnancy problem.

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More Floridians on AIDS drug waiting list

Posted on: December 12th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Photo: dbmathews.com

After dropping dramatically in previous months, Florida’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list increased over the last week: 954 Floridians are now on the list, the second-highest number in the U.S. (more…)

On World AIDS Day, Obama announces more funding to domestic AIDS programs

Posted on: December 1st, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

President Obama announced today that $50 million in additional funds will be going toward treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Obama said during “The Beginning of the End of AIDS,” an online conference organized by ONE International, “a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa”:

Today, I’m announcing some new commitments. We’re committing an additional $15 million for the Ryan White program that supports care provided by HIV medical clinics across the country. Let’s keep their doors open so they can keep saving lives. And we’re committing an additional $35 million for state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. Now, the federal government can’t do this alone. So I’m also calling on state governments, pharmaceutical companies, and private foundations, to do their part to help Americans get access to all the life-saving treatments.

Florida has the longest AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list in the United States. According to National Alliance of State and territorial AIDS Directors, “as of November 17, 2011, there were 6,595 individuals” (.pdf) on ADAP “waiting lists in 12 states.” More than 3,200 of those people live in Florida.

ADAP provides life saving medications for the treatment of HIV and AIDS for people who cannot afford to pay because they are unemployed, uninsured or underinsured. States have implemented a variety of cost containment measures that include waiting lists since 2010, when ADAPs began facing an ongoing funding crisis.

“With bipartisan support, we reauthorized the Ryan White CARE Act,” Obama said today. “And, as I signed that bill, I was so proud to also announce that my Administration was ending the ban that prohibited people with HIV from entering America. Because of that step, next year, for the first time in two decades, we will host the International AIDS conference. So we’ve done a lot over the past three years.”

The president added: “We know that treatment is also prevention. And today we’re setting a new target of helping six million people get on treatment by the end of 2013. That’s two million more people than our original goal.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs November report issued this week indicates that in the U.S. alone “about 1.2 million people are living with HIV” and “about 240,000 don’t know they are infected.”

Vital Signs adds that “each year, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV in the US. Getting an HIV test is the first step to finding out if you have HIV and getting medical care.”

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, approved in 2010, highlights among other measures the need for increasing access to treatment and focusing on HIV prevention programs.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke at the ONE conference panel, saying HIV/AIDS “is a good example of how government can work with other institutions in society and around the world to be a positive difference maker.”

Rubio added Democrats and Republicans agree that “the U.S. was a great country in the 2oth century” and “some of the debate that’s happening now is whether the United States will remain a great country in the 21st century.”

The senator acknowledged that “we need to recognize that there are still thousands of people in the United States on waiting lists to receive medication, certainly in my home state of Florida that is the case.”

Rubio concluded that the “economy will be even tougher if people around the world are dying, can’t enter the workforce and can’t be our business partners in economic trade and development.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., founding co-chair of the first ever congressional HIV/AIDS caucus, highlighted today the need to increase HIV testing at the domestic level, adding, “We need a domestic PEPFAR; that’s what we are working on.”

PEPFAR, the United States President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, was created to “help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world.”

Photo: President Barack Obama (Flickr/The White House)