August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010
Not Nearly Enough

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Monday and I hope your week is off to a safe and great start. Dab the AIDS Bear is back home after another busy weekend so stay tuned for pictures from the last adventures and events with the bear.

AIDS Advocates Agree that $126 Million is Needed to Clear the Current Waiting Lists, Which Continue to Grow Weekly by the Hundreds AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, responded to today's announcement by the Obama Administration that it will allocate $30 million in funding to address the national AIDS Drug Assistance Program crisis that has left 3,000 Americans on waiting lists to receive lifesaving AIDS medications by saying "Thank you, but it is not nearly enough."

Today's announcement includes a total of $65 million in funding for AIDS programs, $35 million of which will go toward prevention programs. Twenty five million of the remaining $30 million had already been reallocated by the White House previously. The additional $5 million being offered today is clearly far less than the $126 million that AIDS advocates have agreed upon as the minimum amount necessary to clear the current waiting lists.

"President Obama, thank you very much for the additional $5 million, but unfortunately, it isn't nearly enough," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "With 3,000 Americans on waiting lists to receive lifesaving AIDS medications and hundreds more being disenrolled by state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs due to cost-containment measures, this crisis is spiraling out of control. Though additional funds are appreciated, there is no possible way that an additional $5 million on top of the $25 million previously reallocated to address this situation will result in getting those 3,000 people off the waiting lists and on to lifesaving AIDS treatment.

President Obama, we urge you to immediately allocate the additional $96 million needed to end this public health crisis." According to an official White House statement released today by Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy: "The Obama Administration is taking new action to prioritize support for Federal HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs. We are sending to the Congress an amendment to the President's FY 2011 budget request to increase HIV/AIDS funding by $65 million.

This is comprised of a requested $35 million increase for HIV prevention in order to continue exciting new HIV prevention activities described below to support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and a $30 million increase for State AIDS drug assistance programs to respond to the ongoing crisis States are facing in operating these essential programs. These resources come on top of proposed increases for HIV prevention and care at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that were included in the original budget submission.

Ultimately, the Congress will enact a budget that will establish Federal funding levels for the fiscal year that begins on October 1st." AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 135,000 individuals in 23 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe.

So now is the time for all of you to contact your elected officials and ask for more funding for ADAP. American men and women on ADAP waiting lists are counting on your help.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab