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What’s up with ADAP? Getting treatment to the HIV community.

Posted in Community, Information, News on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment


There has been much discussion in the news about ADAP recently. We are hearing for the first time about thousands across the country now on waiting lists to join the program. These are people standing in a line that we don’t see.

In case you don’t know about ADAP, here is a little history. ADAP (pronounced ay-dap) started by Congress in 1987 to provide HIV related prescription drugs to people living in the United States who don’t have health insurance or not enough health insurance. By not enough, I mean they don’t have coverage for prescription drugs. When Congress gives the money to the states, it says they have to spend it on HIV “theraputics”.

To qualify for ADAP, there are elibility requirements that vary by state and change every year. Basically there is a maximum income requirement, residency requirement, and a no Medicaid requirement. Some states require that you have no health insurance at all and some require that you first apply for Medicaid and be denied.

So most of the people on ADAP are working, paying taxes and contributing to our society. They are just caught in a Catch 22 situaion where they can’t afford the incredibly high cost of HIV medications.

So what is up with ADAP? Why all of the sudden the news of waiting lists?

As of July 22, there were at least 2,158 people waiting for enrollment in an ADAP program, up from 2,090 on July 1 (which was itself an all-time high). Two new states, Georgia and Ohio, have started waiting lists, with Ohio not yet reporting how many people are on its list.

Earlier this month, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a $25 million reallocation of federal funds for ADAP. According to the Secretary, the funds will be available in mid-August and “will meet ADAP’s projected need through the end of the fiscal year.”

Problem is that state’s are now uping the requirements for ADAP so more people are now losing eligibility for the program. This can force them to quit their jobs and become eligible for other government funded programs like Medicaid to get their life prolonging medications. Their only other choice is to stop taking medications until they become so sick they qualify for Social Security Disability.

What’s up with ADAP? It is another story about how we prioritize the use of the taxpayer’s money in times of budget shortfalls. This time it can mean the difference between life and death.

If you want to know more about ADAP, there is a great article in the January/February edition of Positively Aware.

Much more to follow!

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One Response to “What’s up with ADAP? Getting treatment to the HIV community.”

  • Chuck says:


    In my state there is a long waiting list. My job doesn’t have health insurance and i depend on adap.

    Who has to die to make this something people care about?

    My best,


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