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|Georgia ADAP list eliminated after two years of funding battles|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|August 24, 2012 14:18|
After topping the nation just a few months ago for the most people on an AIDS Drug Assistance Drug Program at 1,520, the state Department of Public Health announced today the list is no longer.
“The reduction of our wait list to zero is a remarkable accomplishment, especially considering where we were in 2011,” said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald in a prepared statement.
In December, there were 1,520 people who were on the wait list for life-saving drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS — making Georgia the state with the highest number of people on an ADAP wait list.
According to the DPH: "More than 350 patients previously enrolled in ADAP have now been transitioned to the relatively new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). Along with medications like those provided by ADAP, PCIP also provides participants with physician care." The PCIP is part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Eliminating Georgia's ADAP wait has been an approximate two-year journey. The list was implemented on July 1, 2010, making it the first time Georgia had such a list in decades.
Then last month, Georgia received $8.4 million in emergency ADAP funding from the federal government. At that time, there were some 429 individuals on the state's ADAP waiting list.
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, has been a leading voice in working to eliminate the state's ADAP waiting list. In September 2011, Georgia Equality urged people to tweet President Obama to call for ADAP expansion.
In August 2011, the DPH was working for a $3 million grant from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention that they hoped would be used to eliminate the ADAP waiting list.
In October, the state Department of Public Health received that $3 million from the CDC but people remained on the wait list.
In March 2011, HIV activists and those working in the HIV field, warned of a looming crisis if the state's ADAP list continued to grow.
Georgia Equality and other HIV activist groups began urging more funding from the state on Dec. 2, 2010, the day after World AIDS Day. Meeting inside the Capitol before Gov. Nathan Deal was sworn in, the activists delivered approximately 1,200 postcards to the governor's office asking he fund the ADAP program at $5 million in his first budget as the state faced having an ADAP waiting list for the first time in decades.
Photo: Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham in the state Capitol on Dec. 2, 2010, with some 1,200 postcards urging Gov. Nathan Deal to fund the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program and eliminate the ADAP waiting list. The list has now been eleminated, according to the state Department of Public Health. (by Dyana Bagby)
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