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Saturday, December 04, 2004

Will the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) survive?

A letter to friends sent 4 December 2004:



Dear friends:

I am including two links regarding important issues below.

The first concerns how to respond directly to ABC's 20/20 producers concerning their recent program about Matthew Shepard. To contact the producers directly, go to the link below:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/2020_response


The second concerns maintaining and increasing funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. As you may know, like many people with HIV, I am dependent on support from this program to be able to get medications for HIV treatment. Anti-retroviral medications, as they are called, cost between $1,000 and $3,000 each month for most people. At times, I have been less reliant on ADAP, but I am very reliant on it at present. I am grateful for the support I get through it right now until I can once again afford health insurance which has a prescription plan. Even with a prescription plan, most Americans with HIV need some assistance to cover copays, as I did even when I had a very good health insurance plan. If it were not for ADAP, I might be dead today. Unfortunately, there are many in states including West Virginia that are on a waiting list to get life-sustaining medication and who have no way of getting the help they need at present.

Without $217 million allocated for 2005, the national ADAP program may collapse and many more Americans could die in the next few years. Obviously, that scares me on a personal level as the California plan may collapse without this added federal funding.

Obviously $217 million is is no small amount of money. Yet it is less than the cost of one fighter jet and is the cost of building two-and-a-half miles of an interstate highway, parkway or "freeway". The cost of building a highway I got from NPR this past week; the cost of a new fighter jet is pretty common knowledge which you can look for on the internet, if interested.

For more information on the crisis with ADAP, go to the following link:

http://www.atac-usa.org/adap.html#90904

You can go to the link below to contact your US Senators directly to ask for their support:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/adap_letter/

Thanks for your time and concern!

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