If you’re a poor Georgian with HIV waiting for help with the high costs of AIDS drugs, your odds of getting assistance are getting better. But just a little.
The state Department of Public Health confirmed on Thursday what we reported earlier this month – they are getting $3 million in emergency funds to prop up the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program. That effort, funded with a combination of state and federal funds, provides AIDS drugs to low-income people. The waiting list has ballooned to nearly 1,800, more than doubling in less than a year.
The state said Thursday that the additional funds – part of a recent $75 million boost to Georgia’s beleaguered fight against HIV – will help remove 277 people from the ADAP waiting list. That means you’ve got a one in six chance of getting AIDS meds help.
Not to worry, says DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, as 99 percent of the rest of the people on the ADAP waiting list are getting their meds from Big Pharma through the state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.
“Georgia’s ADAP waiting list provides us a real-time measurement of need,” Fitzgerald says in a prepared statement. “We maintain the list, in part, so we can demonstrate what’s needed in Georgia when we seek additional federal funding.”
The $3 million in emergency funding is a big boost from last year when the state received about $731,000.