Thinking Outside the ADAP Box
When I began reading your magazine's recent cover story on the financial crises facing the state-run AIDS Drug Assistance Programs across the country, I expected more or less the same call for more federal and state funding that has echoed through the media over the past couple of years ['Adaptive Thinking,' October].
But I was pleasantly surprised to find that writer Benjamin Ryan approached the issue from outside the box and presented a range of wise options that ADAP officials can take to make their programs run more smoothly, find other viable treatment options for HIV-positive people, and obtain anti-HIV drugs at cheaper prices. All of these steps'in addition to securing more ADAP funding'must be taken if ADAPs are to continue adequately serving the thousands of HIV-positive people who literally depend on the programs for their lives.
Pony Up ADAP Funding
Yes, there are many things AIDS Drug Assistance Programs can do to improve efficiency and lower operating costs. But as more and more people are diagnosed with HIV infection and flood these treatment programs, it's clear that no amount of internal restructuring and maneuvering will be enough to keep them financially afloat. ADAPs need more funding, period. Congress needs to move well beyond the minimal increases it is considering for ADAPs in 2004 and fully fund these key programs at the levels their administrators say is needed. Anything less will be consigning poor and uninsured HIV-positive people to their deaths.
via the Internet
Start Spreadin' the News
As a New Yorker who has watched many of my HIV-positive friends struggle with trying to access HIV care and services in the city, I was pleased to see that HIV Plus examined the disparity between the haves and the have-nots here in the heart of our nation's AIDS epidemic ['A Tale of Two Cities,' October]. I applaud every effort to point out the holes in the safety net New York has constructed for our most vulnerable citizens with the goal of hopefully mending these problems so that no HIV-positive person needing assistance slips through. More people need to take up this call.
Beating Around the Bush
Phill Wilson hit the nail right on the head with his column focusing on the empty rhetoric and unkept promises offered up by President Bush with regard to the domestic and global AIDS battles ['AIDS Policy Is Running Amok,' Perspective, October]. While adept at delivering pretty speeches, Bush has done precious little to actually follow through on his empty words.
Funding for U.S. treatment programs is dangerously low, and people are actually dying while waiting for access to low-cost medications. Conservatives have hijacked the federal AIDS research grant application process and intimidated agencies doing key work to stem the spread of HIV. And now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is walking away from prevention efforts aimed at the vast majority of Americans who still need protection from HIV.
It's too bad Bush doesn't talk about the true effect of his administration's negligent AIDS policies. But I guess that wouldn't make such a pretty speech, would it?
via the Internet