The Florida department of health with stop paying for pharmaceuticals for nearly 350 uninsured people with HIV/AIDS due to the state's budget crisis, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The change will occur within the next 30 days.
Additionally, another 2,000 people are are at risk of losing the drug subsidy program if the state cannot close a $16 million budget shortfall. That same shortfall caused the state to put 2,300 people on a waiting list for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
Tom Liberti, chief of the state's Bureau of HIV/AIDS, told the Sun-Sentinel that dropping the program would save the state about $10,000 per person annually.
According to the report, South Florida is one of the hardest-hit areas for new HIV infections per capita in the United States. Out of nine states forced to start waiting lists for drug treatment access, Florida has the largest. In June, President Barack Obama infused the states with $25 million to reduce the lists, and will receive another $50 million from a bill poised to pass Congress.