In response to Florida’s growing crisis with its federally funded, state run AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is spearheading a community town hall meeting Wednesday, November 17th at 6pm in Wilton Manors, FL. The town hall, dubbed—Operation: Mobilize Sunshine!—seeks to mobilize concerned Floridians to speak out and act up to urge action to solve Florida’s growing crisis in its ADAP, the federal/state program that pays for life-saving AIDS drugs for low-income Americans. Please join AHF and its community partners in this effort and have your voices heard on Wednesday, November 17th 2010 at 6:00pm at Hagen Park’s community facility. (2020 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, FL 33305).

 

Beginning of next month, 350 current Florida recipients of ADAP benefits will be removed from the rolls of Florida’s ADAP and as a result they will no longer be able to obtain their lifesaving medication through this federally funded program. The Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program, commonly referred to as ADAP, is $16 million short of being able to serve all of its current clients until April 1, 2011, according to the Florida Department of Health. Florida also has the largest ADAP patient waiting list in the country (2,374 and counting, as of November 5th), as well as the highest rate of new HIV infections in the nation. Enrollment into Florida’s ADAP has reached unsustainable levels with presently allocated funds, and thus has impelled the Health Department to tighten income eligibility requirements. 2,000 more patients may also be at risk for being dropped by the state if the Health Department cannot procure emergency dollars to support the program.

Nationwide, ADAPs serve over 165,000 people, accounting for one third of people on AIDS treatment in the U.S. Unfortunately, the need for these programs expands every year, as more and more people become infected and diagnosed with HIV/AIDS; each year thousands of newly diagnosed HIV patients turn to ADAPs because they cannot afford their medicines.

Although some money is being funneled Florida’s way, ADAP will still require millions of dollars more to accommodate its patient load. With a bleak job market still lingering, HIV patients who have lost their employment are still relying on this government program to receive the life saving medication they need. Thousands are now teetering on the brink of therapy interruption. This cannot happen.

The ‘Operation: Mobilize Florida’!’ town hall is open to the public and ALL CONCERNED FLORIDIANS ARE URGED TO ATTEND. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. If you currently use ADAP to get your lifesaving medications, this event will offer answers to your concerns, tools to navigate access to medication and care, and a chance to personally urge your elected representatives to act now.

Speakers invited include AHF representatives Mike Kahane, Southern Bureau Chief; Lydia S. Gresham, Director of Operations, Southern Bureau ; Jason King,Pharmacy Specialist/Patient Advocate and James Vellequette, AHF Associate Director Public Health, Southern Bureau. Other community leaders will also be invited.

For further info, contact Jason King, AHF Pharmacy Specialist/Patient Advocate (954) 610-3064


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