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All 278 North Carolinians on ADAP Waiting List to Receive HIV Drugs

DHHS receives $3 million grant to help AIDS Drug Assistance Program

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Immediate Release - August 06, 2012
Contact: Chrissy Pearson , 919-855-4835

Raleigh — North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Al Delia today announced that 278 people waiting for life-sustaining drugs that combat the HIV virus will now be able to receive the medication, thanks to a $3 million grant from the federal government. Letters informing these individuals that they will be removed from the waiting list started going out late last week.

The money was granted to DHHS’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, or ADAP, which currently provides some 6,100 low-income North Carolinians with medications that suppress the viral load in HIV-positive patients. The assistance is available to state residents who are at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Because of budget limitations, new patients who fall between 126 percent and 300 percent FPL are placed on a waiting list. The waiting list as of July 31 was 278.

“Providing low-income citizens with antiretroviral drugs not only improves the quality of their lives, but it dramatically decreases the chances of passing the disease to a partner,” said Secretary Delia.

A 2011 study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that treating HIV-infected individuals with antiretroviral therapy when their immune systems are still relatively healthy leads to a 96 percent reduction in HIV transmission to their partners. This finding suggests that early treatment of infected individuals can have a major impact on the spread of HIV disease. DHHS data show that the rate of HIV infection diagnoses in 2010 dropped to 17.8 per 100,000 North Carolinians, down from 24.7 per 100,000 in 2008.

When the current ADAP waiting list was established in January 2010, it grew to 829 people by July 2010 after budget cuts forced DHHS to limit drug assistance to only those at or below 125 percent FPL. Governor Perdue pushed for more money in the program, and since then funding has been at levels that have kept the waiting list smaller, but have not eliminated it entirely. In July 2010, 650 people were removed from the waiting list.

Anyone interested in more information about the ADAP program can call 1-877-466-2232.

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