AIDS Crisis Looms Again as Recession Cuts Drug Access

Dismal news for those who depend on the government's AIDS Drug Assistance Program:

Hiv "The weak economy is crippling the government program that provides life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs to people with H.I.V. or AIDS who cannot afford them. Nearly 1,800 have been relegated to rapidly expanding waiting lists that less than three years ago had dwindled to zero. As with other safety-net programs, ballooning demand caused by persistent unemployment and loss of health insurance is being met with reductions in government resources. Without reliable access to the medications, which cost patients in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program an average of $12,000 a year, people with H.I.V. are more likely to develop full-blown AIDS, transmit the virus and require expensive hospitalizations.

Eleven states have closed enrollment in the federal program, most recently Florida, which has the nation’s third-largest population of people with H.I.V. Three other states have narrowed eligibility, and two of them — Arkansas and Utah — have dropped scores of people from the program."


  1. Chris says

    I wonder if this also has to do with an expanded number of people now falling to the pool of people for whom treatment is recommended. The treatment guidelines changed this year, recommending that patients with CD4 counts as high as 500 initiate antiretrovirral therapy. Guidelines used to generally recommend delaying treatment until CD4 count went down to 350 before starting treatment.

  2. qjersey says

    It would cost a hell of a lot less if our federal government would stop allowing Big Pharma to charge what it wants for HIV meds. Brazil and India have both thumbed their noses at Big Pharma, stiffed them for “royalties” and are making generics.

    Don’t even get me started that so many of these drugs were developed with public money and then corporations patent the end result.

    AZT is an almost 50 year old drug, but Big Pharma was granted a “new use patent.” And that patent is just about up and Big Pharma wants an extension. Yes really.

  3. GGREEN says

    ADAP saves lives but it costs money and we all know how much life is worth to our corporate overlords, Zero, money can by that 4th vacation home however. Bring back the Nixon tax rates for the rich.

  4. MarkDC says

    And the Repuglicans find another way to persecute, torture and kill more Gays and more People With Aids.



    We are now a third world country. Just in case it hasn’t dawned on you yet.

  5. Shaun says

    Dear Markdc, On and off I’ve seen your kvetching and generally miserable posts on this blog. I must say, you are one wretchedly miserable human(?) being(?) WTF!!!

  6. Eric says

    During Pres. Bush’s administration, the waiting list fell all the way to zero. In the not quite two years since he left office, it’s at an all-time high. Many factors contribute to a situation like this, but that fact remains.

  7. SM in Atlanta says

    @markdc wake up asshole,,,the infection rate and NEED for drugs has skyrocketed due to the return to unsafe sex practices by the population. Is the taxpayer supposed to bear the burden for this irresponsible disregard by the public after over 20 years and millions of dollars spent on HIV education and awareness campaigning? It ain’t a poilitical, it’s a societal problem. And YOU are an ASSSSSSSSSSSS…….

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