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ADAP activists needed in all U.S. states and territories.

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is the payer of last resort for HIV-related drug costs for persons with limited income. For several reasons--people living longer, higher drug costs, and political neglect--this program has become critically underfunded over the last few years. ADAP is a federal program that usually requires matching contributions by states. Therefore it needs state-by-state as well as federal organizing, and the health of the program varies greatly among states. Recently the crisis has eased in some states due to the $20 million promised by President Bush to relieve waiting lists. But this is a short-term fix only--and waiting lists are just one of several kinds of restrictions that deny treatment to patients with no other way to pay for it.

If action is not taken now, the crisis could spread to all states, and next year thousands of Americans could be denied HIV treatment they need.

Many people want to work on ADAP but haven't known where to start.

How to Help

What ADAP needs most is activists willing to learn about the issues and get involved in working with others, either nationally or in their state or area. It also needs a larger group of people who can respond to critical action alerts, even if they cannot commit the time to follow the issue in detail.

Those who cannot get heavily involved but want to help occasionally could join only the Treatment Action Network (TAN) of Project Inform. They will receive occasional action alerts on Federal issues where their support is particularly important. For more information about TAN, click the "Treatment Action Network" link on Project Inform's fact sheet (below), or go directly to https://secure.fauldhouse.com/projinf/tanlist2/tanlist.php4

For the latest in-depth information, the most important source is the Saveadap list. You can join at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/saveadap/ This email list, run by the Save ADAP Committee (which now is part of the AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition), is used by activists nationwide to share information. Currently it averages about 100 messages per month (three to four emails per day).

For ADAP background, see:

* Project Inform's fact sheet, "The AIDS Drug Assistance Program Crisis," http://www.projectinform.org/org/ADAP.html (single page, for general information);

* The AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition's ADAP site, http://www.atac-usa.org/adap.html (for information about the most important projects now going on, including ADAP funding information for each state);

* AIDS Treatment and Data Network's Access Project, http://www.atdn.org/access/ (click on your state for eligibility, contact, and other basic information about its ADAP program).

Also, authoritative but sometimes technical ADAP information can be found at Title II Community AIDS National Network (TIICANN), http://www.tiicann.org/ For example, http://www.tiicann.org/eligibility.php tells how state officials or activists could help their state stretch ADAP to cover more people by making sure that other programs are used to pay bills when possible--or help their state fully use existing Federal laws to prevent persons who go back to work from losing access to medical care if they are declared no longer disabled.
COPYRIGHT 2004 John S. James
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:James, John S.
Publication:AIDS Treatment News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 27, 2004
Words:523
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