THREE DIE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

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Three Die in South Carolina Waiting for AIDS Drugs

November 19, 2006

By Matthew Kavanagh :::Call to Action from the Campaign to End AIDS:: Stop the needless deaths – demand emergency funding November 20

More than 300 people are on the waiting list for AIDS drugs set up by South Carolina officials last June – now three of these are dead, and another is near death.

People living with HIV/AIDS in South Carolina, around the U.S. and in South Africa are planning to memorialize these needless deaths on November 20 by demanding emergency action, and we need your help.

BACKGROUND: Last June, the State of South Carolina set up a waiting list for our AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) that provides HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS. The waiting list for care has grown quickly, and many PLWHAs in SC are either going without treatment or getting inadequate care. And there are ADAP waiting lists in six other states.

Read more at the Kaiser Update on ADAP and about the South Carolina Call to Action.

GOVERNMENT ACTION NEEDED

Activists in South Carolina are organizing to demand three things before the end of the year:

* a request for $3 million in emergency state funding from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control * approval of this request by the state Budget and Control Board * “full funding” of the federal Ryan White CARE Act that provides ADAP funding for all states.

Next year, we’ll be fighting for the state and federal funding needed to provide universal access to treatment and care in South Carolina, around the nation and around the world.

NOVEMBER 20 PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION AND PRAYER VIGIL COLUMBIA, SC

Caravans will be traveling to SC from around the state, throughout the South and down the Atlantic Coast from the Northeast. And activists from the Treatment Action Coalition in South Africa will be joining us in solidarity at US Consulates that day.

To join others in South Carolina

Columbia: Karen Bates 803-750-5259 scaplwa@aol.com Orangeburg: Stephanie Williams 803-928-8474 step62will@hotmail.com or Anthony Lawson 803-536-2916

To join the caravans from around the country

Email secretary@c2ea.org and we’ll get you hooked up.

NOVEMBER 20 NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CALL-IN ACTION

On November 20, make three phone calls to government officials who can stop the deaths and end the ADAP waiting lists in SC and nationwide:

1. Call SC Health Commissioner Earl Hunter at 803-898-3432 and tell him to make an immediate request to the Budget and Control Board for $3 million in emergency state funding for ADAP. 2. Call SC Budget and Control Board Executive Director Frank Fusco at (803) 734-2320 and tell him the BCB must approve $3 million in emergency state funding for ADAP. 3. Call US President George Bush at 202-456-1414 and ask him to send an emergency message to Congress asking for $641.9 million in new funding for the Ryan White CARE Act to end the waiting lists for treatment and care across the US.

These actions are organized by the South Carolina Campaign to End AIDS (SC-C2EA), a statewide grassroots organization of people living with HIV/AIDS and our supporters, dedicated to advocating for the rights of all people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.