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The Nation's HIV Providers Speak Out to Help Save ADAP
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2003
Frontline HIV providers generate more than 2,200 letters to Congress expressing grave concern over the lack of ADAP appropriate funding
Los Angeles, CA - In an effort to help save the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) from its current financial crisis, more than 750 frontline HIV providers from across the country recently sent over 2,200 personalized letters to their members of Congress requesting appropriate funding for the program.
The letters were generated as part of an extensive mailing campaign spearheaded by the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) that initially called upon its 1,600 members to participate. Members of the AAHIVM provide direct care to more than 275,000 HIV patients, more than half of the patients in active treatment for HIV disease nationwide.
"HIV providers are giving Congress some serious medical advice," said AAHIVM CEO, Scott Hitt, MD. "If left untreated, the ADAP crisis could cut access to vital health care for thousands of HIV positive patients nationwide. Patients need consistent access to treatment to avoid drug failure, and if we can't guarantee they will get the medications they need, more people will die."
The AAHIVM encourages all frontline HIV providers to work to preserve ADAPs proven service to Americans with HIV disease and to increase attention to the program's structure and funding to ensure the long-term viability of the program. To date, nearly half (47 percent) of the AAHIVMs members have participated in the campaign.
To take action, HIV providers can contact the AAHIVM offices toll-free by calling 866-241-9601 or via e-mail at info@aahivm.org to request a letter template. Participants are then asked to personalize and forward the letter to each of their members of Congress.
For a complete overview of the AAHIVMs position on ADAP, please visit the Academy Website at www.aahivm.org and click on "Policy/Advocacy" found on the left-hand menu bar.
About the Academy
The American Academy of HIV Medicine is an independent organization of HIV Specialists and others dedicated to promoting excellence in HIV/AIDS care. Through advocacy and education, the Academy is committed to supporting health care providers in HIV medicine and to ensuring better care for those living with AIDS and HIV disease.
Our 1,600 members provide direct care to more than 275,000 HIV patients, more than half of the patients in active treatment for HIV disease. The Academy has a diverse membership, primarily composed of Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Family Practitioner and General Practitioner specialists. In addition, 10 percent of the Academy's primary voting members are frontline Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. More than 40 percent of the Academy's members receive Ryan White CARE Act funding, with 17 percent of the Academy's members practicing in community clinics.
What Is ADAP?
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) provides prescription medications to uninsured and underinsured HIV-infected Americans through funding under Title II of the Ryan White CARE Act. Much like Medicaid, each ADAP is administered by the states, with federal funding allocated by formula to each program among the 50 states and seven U.S. administered jurisdictions. The federal earmark for ADAP represents 71% of the national ADAP budget, with the balance made up largely by the states themselves (at 18% on average) or through other federal funding sources.
Each year since 1997, the National ADAP Monitoring Project, composed of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), and the AIDS Treatment Data Network (ATDN), has summarized data collected through its National ADAP Survey of the state and territorial programs. Its most recent annual report summarizes data collected in 2002 and early 2003:
* In June 2002, the number of clients enrolled in ADAP programs totaled 120,385 (roughly one-sixth of the 900,000 Americans who the CDC currently estimates to be HIV positive).
* The demographics of the patient population accessing ADAPs have changed only slightly since the annual survey began-although the largest single demographic group is non-Hispanic whites, ADAPs continue to serve primarily people of color.
* Most ADAP clients have very low incomes: about half of ADAP clients live below the federal poverty level (in 2003 the FPL is $8,980 for a household of one4), and an additional one third report incomes of less than 200% of the FPL.
* Two thirds of ADAP clients are identified as minority Americans.
* One third are 45 years of age or older-this is the first year age figures for older HIV-positive Americans have been included in the annual report, signifying the growing maturity of this patient population and the attendant increases in medical costs in caring for these individuals.
GREG SMILEY PH: 202-251-2148
DAN LEVEK PH: 310-278-6380 dan@aahivm.org
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