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Fw: 2011 Emergency ADAP Summit Attendees Send Letter to President Obama: Fix ADAP Crisis Now

From: Brandon Macsata <info@adapadvocacyassociation.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 06:52:56 -0800 (PST)
To: Nelson Vergel<powertx@aol.com>
ReplyTo: info@adapadvocacyassociation.org
Subject: 2011 Emergency ADAP Summit Attendees Send Letter to President Obama: Fix ADAP Crisis Now

ADAP Advocacy Association ADAP Advocacy Association
P.O. Box 15275
Washington, DC 20003

2011 Emergency ADAP Summit Attendees Send Letter to President Obama Seeking Fix to Ongoing ADAP Crisis; Uncertainty Fuels Growing Frustration among HIV/AIDS Activists

Summit Deemed Success by Attendees

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 4, 2011) – The ADAP Advocacy Association, also known as aaa+, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama and his Office of National AIDS Policy director, Jeff Crowley, seeking an immediate fix to the ongoing crisis facing the cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). The letter, which was drafted and circulated for signatures during the 2011 Emergency ADAP Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last weekend, demonstrates that ADAP stakeholders nationwide remain optimistic that their advocacy efforts will not be in vein.

“After an extremely successful summit – in which we proved our community can disagree, but still unite behind a common purpose – activists from across the nation re-committed themselves to fighting for the 5,779 people living with HIV/AIDS on ADAP waiting lists,” said Brandon M. Macsata, CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association. “We’ve heard the rhetoric, now we want results. The President still enjoys widespread support in the HIV/AIDS community, and we’re hopeful that something is done before the ADAP waiting lists top six thousand Americans living with HIV/AIDS.”

Just prior to the summit convening, ADAP waiting lists ballooned to 5,779 in ten states – including Arkansas with 23 individuals, Florida with 3,008 individuals, Georgia with 879 individuals, Louisiana with 621 individuals, Montana with 19 individuals, North Carolina with 106 individuals, Ohio with 368 individuals, South Carolina with 359 individuals, Virginia with 395 individuals and Wyoming with 1 individual.

The ever-escalating ADAP waiting lists prompted summit attendees to send the letter to President Obama. The letter, which was signed by 57 people living with, and affected by HIV/AIDS, is provided below in its entirety:

[Begin Letter]

January 30, 2011

To: President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20502

Mr. Jeffrey Crowley, Director
Office of National AIDS Policy
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20502

Dear President Obama and Mr. Crowley;

We the undersigned have been together all this weekend, January 29-30, in response to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) emergency in Florida, and the ADAP crisis nationwide.

As we write, there is still uncertainty about whether 10,000 Floridians with HIV and AIDS whose lifeline is ADAP, will shortly be cut off from their medication.

What is certain is that unless an agreement can be reached for a proposed once-only rescue by the pharmaceutical industry, Florida’s ADAP funding will run out in less than two weeks, i.e. by February 10th. And even if there is temporary resolution, without adequate new funding there will be recurring shortfalls.

What is also certain is that;

  • As of last Friday, in ten states nationwide, 5,779 qualified HIV/AIDS patients in need are on waiting lists for access to ADAP medications.

  • Nineteen states and territories have severely tightened enrollment criteria and reduced drug formularies.

  • Between 2009 and 2010, monthly users of ADAPs rose an unprecedented 80%, and continue to rise due in large measure to the “perfect storm” of the downward spiraling economy with loss of jobs and health insurance, plus rising drug prices.

  • State budget deficits preclude addressing the accelerating need, while the federal Ryan White ADAP contribution has shrunk from approximately 70 percent to 50 percent of the overall national ADAP budget in recent years.

  • Research has shown that earlier treatment prolongs life, preserves productive individual health, and protects public health through lower viral counts and reduced disease transmission.

  • Pharmaceutical industry price accommodations and a $25 million HHS ADAP supplement in 2010, though deeply appreciated, as well as failed House and Senate legislative efforts, have left a current and ever-increasing shortfall of close to $100 million.

  • The President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, published July 13, 2010, calls for;

    1) reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV;
    2) increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV; and
    3) reducing HIV-related health disparities.

    None of these overarching goals can be approached while failure looms over the national Ryan White ADAP Program, especially between now and 2014 when Health Care Reform is more fully implemented.

    It is no exaggeration to say that Persons Living With, and Affected By HIV and AIDS are fearful and desperate in the face of government gridlock that has thwarted every constructive solution to the ADAP crisis.

    We implore you to take the lead and not to rest, until there is secure and sufficient funding – immediate and ongoing – to avert a Florida ADAP meltdown and national ADAP insolvency, to achieve the goals of the National AIDS Strategy, and most importantly, to prevent needless suffering and death of Persons Living With HIV and AIDS in the United States.


    [End Letter]

    The two-day summit focused on the continuing crisis facing the cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, filled with important updates, lively discussions and timely grassroots advocacy trainings.

    To learn more about the ADAP waiting lists or the ADAP Advocacy Association, please contact Brandon M. Macsata by phone at (305) 519-4256 or email at info@adapadvocacyassociation.org.


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    Nelson Vergel
    Nelson Vergel
    Chemical engineer, 34+ year HIV and cancer survivor, health author and educator . Founder of DiscountedLabs.com , ExcelMale.com , and PowerUSA.org

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