Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Addressing America's ADAP Crisis

Five months ago I blogged about participating in a PSA that the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) was creating to bring attention to ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Programs) waiting lists. Well, today the aaa+ released the 2 Public Service Announcements with hopes of brining this issue to the national level. As a board member of   aaa+, I take the ADAP issue very seriously.We at  aaawork very hard to bring attention to the ever growing ADAP waiting list and hope that one day soon their won't be any waiting lists at all.

I constantly ask myself  "Who is to blame for this ADAP Crisis ?". Do we point the finger at the government for not funding this program enough? Do we blame the Pharmaceutical companies for the outrageous prices? or Do we blame ourselves for not making enough noise about the issue ? Whatever your opinion is, start having a conversation about it. Ask your friends what their thoughts are on the issue. They may not even know the issues exists. I know when I showed this PSA to my mother and sister the other day I viewed it as a chance to educate them about ADAP. They had questions but at the end of our conversation they understood why I would take part in this specific PSA.

Due to the ever growing ADAP waiting list the ADAP Advocacy Association  and head sponsor AIDS Healthcare Foundation recently held an Emergency ADAP Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida the weekend of January 28th-30th. The Summit was organized to bring nationwide attention to the ADAP crisis. The Summit brought individuals from all over the United States together to have one big conversation. Those who attended were Activists, ASO's, Pharmaceutical Reps and with 140 attendees the summit led to some interesting conversations to say the least. I attend these summits to learn and as someone living with HIV/AIDS it is important to educate myself.

I of course love meeting other like minded individuals who are making a difference in the world by sharing their experiences with a blog. I had the honor of being picked up at the airport by Mark S. King (My Fabulous Disease), we had lunch & then later that evening I met up with the fabulous Sherri Lewis (HIV DIVA). On Saturday I met up with the founder of Dab the AIDS Bear, Dab Garner and POZIAM Blogger, Christopher Myron at the conference.. I love meeting my online friends it feels like a big family reunion.

In July 2010,when I first blogged about the ADAP crisis, there were 2,359 Americans on the ADAP waiting list. So that means, in 7 months time there have been 3,642 Americans added to the waiting list. We tell people to get tested "Know your Status " but then when they test positive, we tell them they can't get their medications and will be added to a waiting list. It just makes no sense at all to me. So much for the land of the free. As a result of the conference Florida has sidestepped the ADAP crisis with a band-aid  but it is a start.

Current ADAP Waiting lists
(6,001 individuals in 10 states*, as of February 3, 2011)
Arkansas: 27 people
Florida: 3,085 people
Georgia: 920 people
Louisiana: 645 people**
Montana: 19 people
North Carolina: 114 people
Ohio: 390 people
South Carolina: 386 people
Virginia: 412 people
Wyoming: 3 people

ADAP PSA - 60 Seconds

ADAP PSA - 5 minutes

The ADAP Advocacy Association ( aaa+) produced its landmark 5-minute public service announcement on the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). It is the first time a PSA has focused on ADAPs and it is accompanied by a shorter 60-second PSA (also posted here). The PSA was produced by Neil Romano of The Romano Group, LLC - who worked on worked on campaigns such as "Just Say No" and "America Responds to AIDS."

Visit ADAP Advocacy Association on Youtube 
Watch Mark S. Kings Video about the ADAP Summit
Read Christopher Myrons Blog about the ADAP summit


  1. Gerry ScoppettuoloFebruary 8, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Thanks for bringing attention to this..I've started a cause on my facebook page "Make all HIV Meds Available Without Condition" ....

  2. Great article. Unfortunately I was not able to make it but would love to discuss this in more detail. Please feel free to email me @ HIVOhio@gmail.com. Thanks.