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Author Topic: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally  (Read 11121 times)

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Offline leatherman

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SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« on: March 13, 2010, 04:10:12 PM »
Nearly a dozen states already have ADAP waiting lists(1), which means that currently 622 HIV+ fellow American citizens are going withtout life-saving live-sustaining (since untreated HIV leads to death) medication. Other states have initiated other "cost-containment strategies"(2). In years past these kinds of actions by the states has resulted in 35 people dying since 2000.(3) In South Carolina not only will there be an ADAP waiting list but huge budget cuts are coming to AIDS, Mental Health, Disabilities funding.(4) (similar funding issues are also happening in NC(5))

The South Carolina Rally
A contingency from my local ASO, the Catawba Care Coalition based in York County and also serving Lancaster and Chester counties, has an appointment scheduled Tues. 3/16 to meet with Representative J. Gary Simrill (District 46 - York Co.) a member of the Ways and Means Cmmtte. (I'm seeing about making arrangements to go with the crowd, to plead the case for our clinic and area.) The statewide SC HIV AIDS Council has scheduled a rally at the state capital for this upcoming wed 3/17 at 11:30. (I'm working on the arrangements to go to that one for sure!)

Below is the information from the SC HIV AIDS Council that I'd like to pass along if anyone is interested.

SCHACCTF Advocacy Talking Points 2010

Please call your personal legislators immediately. 

You need your STATE Senator and your STATE Representative, who work in the General Assembly at the STATE HOUSE in Columbia. Find them at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe. Enter your zip code as instructed.  There is a link shown to find the extra 4 numbers you will need for your full 9-digit zip code.
Do not call your people in Congress at this time - they have no control over our state budget.  We must contact our LOCAL senator and representative in the STATE HOUSE, not in DC.  All of your DC officials AND State House officials are listed when you use the link above.  When you get to the page with your representatives, ignore the Congressional officials and scroll down to the state level ones.
Also, please call the legislators shown on the attached "Call YOUR Legislators and These KEY People" list. 
Here is what to say:
1.   "PLEASE save the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and HIV Prevention in South Carolina".
2.   "PLEASE put the funding for these two programs back into the state budget." WHY?
a)   "Funding ADAP and HIV Prevention will reduce further transmission of HIV."
b)   "Funding ADAP and HIV Prevention will keep People Living With HIV healthy and working."
c)   "Funding ADAP and HIV Prevention will save tax payers' money by preventing unnecessary hospitalization due to illness."
d)   "I respectfully request that you restore the current level of funding for these two programs ADAP and HIV Prevention back into the budget."
e)   "Thank you for support.  We ask for your dedication to saving the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and HIV Prevention."

Call YOUR Legislators* AND these KEY people:
House of Representatives
Speaker: Representative Robert "Bobby" Harrell, District 114 (Charleston & Dorchester Counties)
803-734-3125   hsp@schouse.org
Ways & Means Chairman: Representative Daniel "Dan" Cooper, District 10 (Anderson County)
803-734-3144   hwm@schouse.org

House Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee
Representative Tracy R. Edge, District 104 (Horry County)
803-734-3013   te@schouse.org 
Representative William "Bill" Clyburn, District 82 (Aiken & Edgefield Counties)
803-734-3033   wc@schouse.org
Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter, District 66 (Orangeburg County)
803-734-2809   gch@schouse.org

Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee
Chairman: Senator Thomas Alexander, District 1 (Oconee & Pickens Counties)
803-212-6220   sge@scsenate.org
Senator William H. "Billy" O'Dell, District 4 (Abbeville, Anderson & Greenwood Counties)
803-212-6040   who@scsenate.org
Senator Clementa C. Pinckney, District 45 (Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton & Jasper Counties)
803-212-6148   ccp@scsenate.org
Senator Glenn McConnell, District 41 (Charleston County)
803-212-6610   sju@scsenate.org
Senator Yancy McGill, District 32 (Florence, Georgetown, Horry & Williamsburg Counties)
803-212-6132   jym@scsenate.org
Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, District 31 (Darlington & Florence Counties)
803-212-6640   sfi@scsenate.org

(1) Kentucky (172), North Carolina (168), Tennessee (110), Utah (69), Iowa (55), South Dakota (26), Arkansas (18), Idaho (17), Montana (14), Wyoming (13) http://www.nastad.org/InFocus/InfocusResultsDetails.aspx?infocus_id=314

(2) cost-containment strategies
(instituted since April 1, 2009)
reduced formulary: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Utah
Arkansas: lowered financial eligibility to 200% of FPL
Utah: lowered financial eligibility to 250% of FPL
North Carolina: lowered financial eligibility (final FPL still being considered)
Hawaii: individuals with CD4>350 not currently on ARV therapy are not being enrolled
North Dakota: cap on Fuzeon
Washington: client cost sharing, reduced formulary (for uninsured clients only)

(before March 31, 2011)
waiting list: Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina
reduced formulary: Illinois, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota
annual expenditure cap: North Dakota, Wyoming
capped enrollment: Louisiana, Illinois, North Dakota
Illinois: lowered financial eligibility, monthly expenditure cap
North Carolina: additional reduction to financial eligibility

(3) ADAP Advocacy Association
Newsletter – January 2009
In 2003, eight Americans (five in Kentucky and three in W Virginia) died while on ADAP waiting lists, and in 2006 four South Carolinians suffered the same fate. In fact, thirty-five people have died on ADAP waiting lists since 2000. These tragedies were and are as inexcusable as they were preventable, and represent a shock to those who complacently believe that AIDS is a “manageable condition”.

(4) http://www.thestate.com/2010/03/04/1185583/sc-legislators-seek-ways-to-patch.html
The [tax] breaks come as human services programs are being slashed. Legislators have been besieged with calls from disabled residents and their advocates after Cooper's committee approved a $5 billion spending plan last week that would end programs for nearly 26,000 people getting help from the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

"We keep passing all this corporate welfare," said state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an Orangeburg Democrat who voted against the measure. "What about the welfare of the citizens of our state?"

State Rep. Joe Neal, D-Hopkins, reminded House members that the lobby Wednesday was packed with people with disabilities asking that their programs be spared cuts. "They have every right to be concerned because it ain't over," Neal said.
Those families are not the only ones losing health care help. The budget committee cut $10.7 million from Medicaid by imposing a three-drug prescription cap in a program for adults that now allows up to 10 drugs. The panel also eliminated the $2.4 million the state spends on AIDS drug treatments that now serve about 2,055 people monthly and slashed $35 million from the Department of Mental Health's $161 million budget.

(5) NC/SC HIV funding cuts
This situation isn't much better just to the 500 ft to the north of my home in North Carolina either
S.C. House cuts HIV/AIDS funding
Move comes after similar action by N.C. officials


NC cuts AIDS funding a couple of weeks sooner than SC did
AIDS funding cuts protested
As HIV rates skyrocket, groups combine resources to engage community, legislators

The North Carolina AIDS Action Network will plan for a lobby day and other action
days on funding cuts and other issues later this year.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 05:03:19 PM »
WHO:  South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force
WHAT:  RALLY to save ADAP and prevention funding in South Carolina
WHERE:  Statehouse rotunda in Columbia.  Bring a picture ID.
WHEN:  Wednesday, March 17 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.  Arrive by 11:00 to get thru security.

Today from the SC HIV/AIDS Council:
By now I am certain that most of you have heard that the house has made a minimal overture to include 2.3 million back into adap.  Nothing in prevention.  I am hoping that we are clear on two items:
a) 2.3 million is insufficient and will not address our current dilemma with adap.  At the minimum we need the 5.9 restored.   We are still in crisis.
B)  we have discussed the continuing growth of the epidemic as we continue to test for hiv.  If they fail to support any prevention -we should not delude ourselves by thinking that if they fail to  include prevention now...That they will fund it  prevention.  Let's insure that we address both issues in our dialogue.
If is more important than ever that we attend this rally as we have already been told by several house members that we can cancel it --as they have returned money into adap.   We look forward to  seeing you!
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline edfu

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 09:14:32 PM »
Action Alert!

Sent this e-letter, via the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, to the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives:
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 11:49:43 PM by edfu »
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline leatherman

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Rally Update - with pictures!
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 12:37:07 AM »
I went to a couple Act-Up Cleveland rallies back in the early 90s. Unfortunately many of the activists back then (who got programs like ADAP in effect) passed away from AIDS. Many of the people who were left afterwards were like me and too busy trying to stay alive than to continue the protesting. Since then the meds have gotten progressively better, and many people don't understand the struggle HIV positive people went through to get care, treatment and drugs. ADAP budgets are being cut now because people have become too complacent about HIV and the damage it does to lives.

Since I've been trying to volunteer more now that I'm feeling better, I figured what better way to volunteer for than a little activism. Though I contacted my ASO several times, they didn't ask me to go along on Tues (A contingency from my local ASO, the Catawba Care Coalition based in York County and also serving Lancaster and Chester counties, had a  meeting with Representative J. Gary Simrill,  a member of the Ways and Means Committee), nor did they make any arrangements for anyone to attend the rally on the following day - so I went on my own.  ;)
It was a nice hour and a half drive down to the state capital. The day warmed up with some milky sunshine and the traffic was light on the highway. I did have to stop twice though on the way down; both times for odd reasons. First, my meds and last night's dinner didn't seem to be happy with one another and I was having some issues. Pulling over into a rest area, I was able to laugh at bit at my situation. Here I was going to attend a rally, so people could get access to meds, meds like the ones I took, that make you barf or have diarrhea. ::) :D Then I had to stop again before getting into Columbia because I was having a bit of a mild panic attack. Normally, if I was going on a trip like this, I would have been going with my late partner Jim. Sometimes when I have thoughts about Jim (who was in the hospital just 2 yrs ago this month), they show up without warning and can be pretty overwhelming. After a short stop with another quick trip to a restroom (to walk around a bit and to slash some water on my face), I felt better and was back on my way.
I was pretty surprised pulling into the state capital. Though I keep accidentally calling "Columbia" (the state capital of SC) "Columbus" (the state capital of Ohio) there wasn't any mistaking the actual cities. While Columbia is pretty with it's palm trees and Southern charm, it's only 1/7th the size of Columbus OH. Why it's so small that it's only half the size Akron!

The State Capitol Building in Columbia, SC

The Rotunda quickly filled up as the time for the rally approached. A quick head count easily tallied up to 300+ people filling the center area and down each of the four wings of the capitol building. As the rally proper began, many people moved into the area behind the podium giving better access to the media crews and their cameras, while keeping the crowd within the camera frame.

After opening remarks by Rep. Joseph H. Neal, there were several speakers touching on subjects like the medical impact of HIV, a focus on women with HIV, the impact of the cuts in SC, and how the youth of SC are increasing becoming positive. There were even several church pastors who spoke about the Christian charity aspect (well, I am living deep in the Bible Belt now, so what do you expect ::)) of providing life-saving meds and health care to our fellow citizens living in South Carolina.

The day before the rally some of the legislators had proposed restoring about half the money to the ADAP program but that still won't remove the waiting list nor provide funds for any prevention programs. With the state of South Carolina now #8 on the list of states with the most cases of HIV (and increasing!), I hope the rally, the letters, and the calls make the legislators change their mind about cutting the funds against such an important state problem.

leatherman aka mIkIe at the rally
I'm going to have to learn to smile for the camera but I was too busy trying to hold out the camera and push the button. As I mentioned earlier, it wasn't all that long ago that Jim would have been with me and been the one taking pictures of me, so I'm still learning how to take pictures of myself.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline denb45

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 07:54:16 PM »
And There's very Handsome picture of Mikie ( love the picture of you)  :-* you sexy dog you  ;D
it's hard to take pics of your self, my partner just refuses to take any (I don't know why tho)
camera-shy I suppose, I always tell Bob, just take the pic, and what ever you do PLEASE don't get
my LIPO-BELLY in the frame......LOL  ;)  mikie, at least you attended this venue too bad you didn't get any support from your local ASO  ???
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 08:06:21 PM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 09:19:09 PM »
my partner just refuses to take any (I don't know why tho)
I would venture to say that 90% of the population hates having their picture taken for some reason. however, living around the ComputerTutor who's had his blog online for about 12 yrs. all my friends have gotten used to the camera. We I (it's still hard remembering there is no "we" anymore) even have a running joke about the "GBS". It seems in every batch of pictures is at least one pix of someone's backside - hence the "gratitious butt shot" LOL

what ever you do PLEASE don't get my LIPO-BELLY in the frame......LOL
oddly since moving in with my Mom, though I live pretty separately and she rarely feeds me :D, I've gained about 10lbs all in my gut and have been feeling like I've got the lipo-belly too. ::)

at least you attended this venue too bad you didn't get any support from your local ASO  ???
yeah, that was a bit disappointing.

There was no ASO and I had no case mgr for nearly 20 yrs up in OH, so I handled everything - and I mean everything from meds to docs to taking my own self to the hospital to dealing with losing two partners, all by my lonesome. I kinda thought things would be different having a whole org to help me and other pozzies around, etc. but ..... I guess not. So I just did what I've always done and handled this by myself too. I went on my own to do my part.

Heck when I got to the capitol bldg, those state HIV orgs weren't much better. I saw them all eye-balling me (who's this guy?) so I had to walk up, introduce myself, ask for one of their red ribbons and if I could hold one of the many signs they had lying around. But I was there and I counted as a warm protesting body in the head count.

And if all that didn't help then I hope getting friends and family (about a dozen people) to sign the letters (that I mailed in for them), and to send emails to the legislators, asking them to not slash the HIV/AIDS budget, will do the trick.

Though there was some disappointment - and that little bit of trauma/panic about doing it all alone - in the end, it was all very empowering.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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SC ADAP/Prevention Funding Cuts Partially Restored
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010, 11:47:48 PM »
this arrived in my inbox today:

Dear Task Force Members,
First and foremost, the Executive Committee of the SC HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force, would like to extend our deepest appreciation to those of you who sacrificed to attend the Save ADAP and HIV Prevention Rally, at the State House.  We also remain grateful for each and every individual who coordinated face-to-face meting with legislative leadership, wrote letters, made calls, and executed other forms of advocacy.
One attendee shared that our gathering and rally of support at the Statehouse was truly a “textbook” example of community mobilization.  Special thanks to our awesome speakers who truly came from the heart.  They truly made a difference!  The local community comprised of consumers, medical students, pharma, business, and “cougars” demonstrated to all how just coming together can make a difference. As a result of our efforts the House (Rep. Joseph Neal, Rep. Gilda-Cobb-Hunter, Speaker Bobby Harrell, Rep. Tracey Edge, Chair House Ways and Means-Rep. Dan Cooper, and Rep Harry Ott) restored 2.2 million in ADAP as well as support of HIV prevention. 
Despite our great success we still have a final mountain to climb.  We need the Senate, at the minimum, to restore the 3.7 million lost to ADAP and maintain the HIV prevention awarded on the House side.  The request is now on the Senate side.  The Senate Finance Committee meets tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in Room 105 (Gressette Building) to discuss this issue.  I have meetings with several Senators tomorrow and ask that those of you in the following areas connect with the following key leaders in the Senate:
Ø      Chairman: Senator Thomas Alexander, District (3)-Oconee/Pickens
o       402 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6220
Ø      Senator William O’Dell, District (4)-Abbeville, Anderson, and Greenwood
o       610 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6040
Ø      Senator Clementa C. Pinkney, District (45)-Beaufort, Jasper, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton
o       512 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6148
Ø      Pres. Pro Tempore, Senator Glenn McConnell, District (41)-Charleston
o       101 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6610
Ø      Senator Yancy McGill, District (32)-Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Williamsburg
o       508 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6132
Ø      Senator Hugh Leatherman, District (31)-Darlington, Florence
o       111 Gressette Building-(29201)        (803)-212-6640
Please report any advocacy efforts to us so that they can be documented.  All efforts will make a difference. 
SAVE THE DATE: SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST AND UPDATE scheduled Thursday, May 13, 2010 at the Blatt Building from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  Details to follow.

Perry Oliver
Project F.A.I.T.H.
1115 Calhoun Street
Columbia, SC  29201
(803) 254-1445

a special thanks for this information being sent to me by:
Elizabeth McLendon
Special Projects and Volunteers
South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council
1115 Calhoun St
Columbia, SC 29201-2417
(803) 254-6644, Ext. 110
Facebook Group: SCHAC Volunteers
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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in SC: a budget crisis, a death and a rally
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2010, 02:49:24 AM »
When I went to the SC ADAP Funding Cut protest rally in the middle of March, SC didn't even have a waiting list. Though we were able to get some funding put back into the budget, we weren't able to stop the list from beginning. Now, just two short months later and there are 112 people on the list for this state.

Back on March 9, NC's ADAP waiting list had 168 people, but that has increased by 315% in two months to 530! The drastic jump to the position of largest waiting list in the nation was partially due to even more people testing positive, needing meds, and needing assistance to get access to the meds; but the foremost reason for the increase was a change in NC ADAP requirements. The changes have now literally forced people using the program last month to be ineligible for help in getting access to meds that cost around $2200 a month.

Unfortunately that same change in requirements is coming to SC this next month.

SC ADAP has grown significantly over the past few years. The program served an average of 2100 patients a month last year, representing an increase of nearly 15% from the previous year. However, funding of the current year has decreased drastically from last year. HRSA ADAP Base funding was cut by 3%, HRSA ADAP Supplemental funding was cut by 21%. In the absence of additional funding, the program will be forced by September 1, 2010 to remove an estimated 900 active patients. People currently receiving meds will find their access gone and be forced to find others ways to fund their prescription needs.

But the news just continues to worsen.

The legislature is once again debating not just cutting some of the funding as they had told us after the last rally; but all of the funding. The newly-passed House budget doesn't just cut the monies by 51%, as we were told in March; now the budget has ALL funding removed. Unless convinced to stop, SC will stop funding ADAP and all HIV prevention and testing programs. Other cuts include loss of support for state health insurance programs for low-income children, new restrictions on medications funded by Medicaid, and elimination of cancer screenings and kidney disease prevention.

Horrifying similar to 2006 when similar cuts caused 4 SC residents to die from AIDS without meds,
one person on the SC waiting list has now died. :'(

The State Senate takes up the new House budget proposal on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. As a result, the plans to conduct another rally* on Thursday May 27 at 6:00 PM have been urgently altered to Tuesday May 25, 2010 from 9:00 am to 12:00pm outside the State House.  http://goqnotes.com/6859/advocates-to-protest-s-c-aids-cuts/

*This rally is known as the "Stephanie Williams Memorial Rally" named after one of the founders of the S.C. Campaign to End AIDS, who passed away in Oct 2007 http://www.thestate.com/2008/10/12/552309/stephanie-williams-her-death-became.html

If anyone is able to attend this rally, we would love your help to show the state legislature the number of people demanding that we help take care of our fellows citizens by providing testing to find those infected by HIV, by giving access to life-saving life-sustaining medications to those infected, and by stemming the tide of this epidemic with prevention programs.

Please feel free to contact me if you can help or if you need more information or directions, and I'll do my best to assist you. Also, please don't hesitate to use the many emails listed in a previous post to contact members of the SC House and Senate to request that ADAP not be cut from the budget. Please note that the legislature will be debating and possibly voting on Tues, so time is of the essence!

I thank you on behalf of those relying on ADAP for their very lives,
as we all know that untreated HIV can easily lead to an AIDS death.

Thank you for your help and support with this important issue,
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2010, 01:10:43 PM »
As the time before the SC budget deadline is too close for a letter-writing/snail-mail campaign, for those of you who may want to help by emailing SC legislators, here is a sample message (below in the quote box) that you may use when contacting them (email addresses are listed in a previous post in this thread) about the ADAP/HIV prevention funding crisis.

Once again, I thank all of you for any help you can provide in trying to stop SC from cutting off all funding for ADAP and HIV issues!

Dear Senator/ Representative,

I am an advocate for people living with HIV. I am writing to you because I am concerned about the S.C. ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) waiting list and the funding cuts in the proposed state budget. The list means people living with HIV/ AIDS may not be able to get medications for the treatment of HIV. The medications are quite expensive and cost around two thousand dollars per month. The ADAP program makes obtaining medications possible for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Currently we have 3,211 patients per year receiving medications from ADAP and an average of 100 applicants for ADAP per month. In our region we have 4,325 people living with HIV/ AIDS, and 911 of these individuals are served under ADAP. The waiting list means, new applicants to the program will not have access to medications needed. Currently as of May, already 112 South Carolina residents who need HIV medications do not have access to these life-saving, life-sustaining drugs. By next month, if no further money is budgeted for ADAP and the qualification requirements are raised, people currently using ADAP to fund their medications will be dropped from the program and their names will be moved to the waiting list.

Why is ADAP needed and why should you help ADAP?

Providing funding for this program is beneficial to all residents. The program saves money through preventing advanced stages of HIV/AIDS, which saves on additional drug and hospitalization costs. Also keeping individuals healthy, by providing early care, costs less than allowing the disease to progress. ADAP also allows more people to stay employed and off public assistance programs. The program also helps prevent new infections because medications reduce the likelihood of transmission.

For the people who have already been using ADAP and will be dropped from the program, the situation will be one of great importance. Unlike other diseases, going off HIV treatment can cause the virus to mutate, and become resistant to the medications. This means these people may find themselves left without any medication effective against the virus.

Unfortunately, no vaccine or cure has yet to be developed against HIV, so it's still the same disease that it was at the stay of this epidemic. We all know from the 80's, that untreated HIV leads to greater sickness, which leads to AIDS, which inevitably leads to death. This should come as no surprise, as a similar budget cut in 2006 caused a waiting list to be created and allowed four SC residents to die from lack of medication. Sadly, already one ADAP client, put onto the waiting list, has now died.

The proposed budget cuts go even further and no longer fund any HIV prevention or HIV testing programs either. In a state with rising numbers of HIV infected people, no longer teaching prevention and no longer testing for this virus, will do nothing more than allow it to spread, costing the state dollars and, more importantly, precious lives.

Please support fully funding HIV care and support services in South Carolina.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this important matter.

A big thanks to Amanda ;D from the Catawba Care Coalition (on FaceBook too) for her letter from the previous letter-writing campaign that I "borrowed" and updated for the changes since March.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »
Twenty yrs. ago I attended a rally in Cleveland OH to protest FOR the very HIV meds themselves.
Twenty yrs. later I'm going to attend a rally in Columbia SC to protest for adequate ACCESS to those HIV meds that we know save lives.

(can you believe two decades ago I was actually protesting to take AZT mono-therapy?!?  :o :D But I have to give it credit for helping to keep me alive until something better came on the market, so I can't complain about it too too much. ;) )

For me, this upcoming rally (on Tues 5/25 9a-Noon at the State House) is all the more poignant, as that date marks the 16 year anniversary of my first partner's (Randy) death :'(, who attended that rally in 1990 with me. Unfortunately, meds didn't come soon enough to save his life. Let's hope the legislators hear our appeal now and provide adequate funding for the ADAP program so people won't have to die now, when we have meds that are life-saving and life-sustaining.

Please join us in Columbia if possible! If you can't meet us there, please use the information at "Support people living with HIV/ AIDS" (a FB page sponsored by my local ASO, the Catawba Care Coalition) or the information (in the email/phone listing) that I posted in this thread to contact the SC Senators and Representatives requesting adequate funding for ADAP, and all HIV prevention and testing programs.

Thanks for any help you can give in this vital issue!
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 01:04:55 AM »
Hundreds Protest Against Possible ADAP Funding Cut
5/25/10 by mikie

It was warm, overcast, and muggy outside of South Carolina's State House in Columbia where approx. 200 protestors gathered to rally against the proposed budgetary health care cuts (ADAP, HIV prevention, nursing home inspections, statewide EMS system, rural health clinic, uninsured children's vaccinations, etc).

For over three hours the protestors displayed signs on the streets surrounding the capital and the front steps to the building. Some of the many speakers included the state ADAP director, several pastors, the director of the FAITH outreach program, and various case managers, advocates and clients. Several Democrat House Representatives who have been busy trying to get the health care funding back into the budget spoke to the crowd also.

The final budget should be approved by Thurs as the House and Senate are still battling out the final details. The Republican controlled House was able to keep a $10 million loan for a private golf tournament in the budget. However, the Democrats in the Senate are fighting to get the health services put back into the budget before passage. Last week, the Republicans had removed the money for the health services (which had already been compromised to half the original amount) after the Democrats refused to approve a large budgetary increase to keep the court system funded.

- brought to you by your local SC Protest Reporter leatherman

News and Video Reporting of the Rally
WLTX reports "State House Protestors Rally Against Cuts to AIDS Drug Funding"

ABC reports "Dozens Rally in Support of HIV/AIDS Medication Funds"

NBC WIS reports "Hundreds rally to protest AIDS funding cuts in state budget"

Previous News Articles
"S.C. budget cuts target health care programs for poor"

"Cash crunch could cripple court system"

"Big Government Golf Stays In SC Budget"
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline metekrop

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 02:40:12 PM »
Why is only in the USA that HIV positive people face difficulty in getting a life saving medicines.  Is it not a big shame!
Diag on Dec 8, 2000, CD 440 VL 44K, No Meds
Dec/08 - Feb/09 CD< 50 & VL >500k hosp'z.
St. Atripla - July/09 CD 179, VL 197k
Oct/09 CD 300 VL UD Chol 267
Mar/10 CD 468 UD, Ch 220
Aug/10 CD 460 UD, Ch 195
Dec/10 CD 492 UD, Ch 172
Mar/11 CD 636 UD, Ch 201
Aug/11 CD 530 UD, Ch 98
Jan/12 cd 616 UD, ch 189
Jul/12 CD 640 UD, Ch ?
Dec/12 CD 669 Ud, Ch 125
May/7 CD711 Ud, Ch?
Nov/ 22 663 UD, Ch,
April 17 CD 797,
Oct, 14 CD 810 UD

Offline edfu

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 04:19:03 PM »
The Republican controlled House was able to keep a $10 million loan for a private golf tournament in the budget.

Gee, you wouldn't want to prevent some rich white guys from hitting a ball into a hole while some other SC citizens are dying from lack of access to ARV's.  :-\

This is simply so vile it is unspeakable.  I dare not give it a name in print. 

"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline Jody

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 08:32:31 PM »
Thanks leather for taking your time and effort to save ADAP.  We need it for the uninsured and underinsured.   And yes edfu, it is a damned shame when golf takes precedence over health care.

Jody :(
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2010, 09:40:23 PM »
there is good news! ;D
(at least it is right now, and I hope it says that way! ;) )

The Senate did NOT approve the budget that had the health care cuts in it. Instead a committee will have to work out the differences to pay for the court system and health care issues. I guess this means some health care cuts are still possible (**see note at the end of this post for more info); but with their recess deadline looming, it's hard to say how all of this will wash out.

I'm still going to claim a victory for our rally for getting the Senate to NOT go through with their draconian cuts to health care in South Carolina.
"Political briefs: Senate rejects health cuts"
The S.C. Senate refused Tuesday on a 29-14 vote to accept House changes to the state budget that would end free cancer screenings for poor South Carolinians and would take away AIDS treatments from indigent (***see 2nd note at end of post) patients.

The legislation now goes to a House-Senate conference committee, where the differences in the two versions of the spending plans will be worked out. Among the biggest issues to be settled between the two bodies is how to pay for $50.2 million in funding for the state?s court system and S.C. Department of Public Safety.

The Senate paid for those costs by raising and initiating fees and fines for services provided by the courts worth $21 million. But the House could not muster the votes to overturn a Gov. Mark Sanford veto of the court fees. House budget writers instead carved out the cost to run the state?s court system from health care programs. The House cuts would end all S.C. funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and drug assistance, would limit prescription drugs for Medicaid patients and cap enrollment in the state?s Children?s Health Insurance Program.

The Senate has named Sens. John Land, D-Clarendon, Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and Mike Fair, R-Greenville, to the committee. The House has named Reps. Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, and Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, to the committee.

The General Assembly plans to adjourn June 3

additional article about what had been the proposed health cuts

**cuts still might be forthcoming if the next governor is from the GOP ranks that thinks cutting taxes will somehow "help" with all these budget problems.

***If I may make a OT comment about the phrasing in this article, I'm not sure I care for the description of ADAP clients as "indigent". Besides outright paying for full medical regimens, ADAP can also simply cover someone's insurance payment when they make up to 300% of the poverty level in some cases. Though those people might be considered "needy" as per the definition of indigent, I don't think they meet the "impoverished" standard. Does calling ADAP clients "indigent" propogate stigma or promote concern for the "less fortunate"?
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Jeff G

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2010, 09:57:32 PM »
Congrats Mikie . That's great news for your state .

As for the language for Adap clients . Due to the high cost of health care most people in that income range are probably a copay or two from being indigent . In my state I make just above what is allowed to get full medicaid . When health care reform takes affect I will be eligible again for medicaid . That extra 20% copay I have sure makes me feel indigent some months LOL .

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2010, 01:53:50 AM »
When last I left you, things weren't looking too terrible for SC ADAP.
However, things haven't gone so well after all. :(

The Governor (Mr. Sanford, you know who likes to "hike" ::)) vetoed the part of the budget in which the Senate and House had finally compromised and supplied funding to all those health issues. Upon review of over-turning that veto, the House decided to uphold the vetoed/canceled sections of the budget.

So in a state with one of the highest rising rates of infection, now there will be no funds for prevention or education, and no more money for the ADAP program

According to state ADAP officials that I've been in contact with and who are trying to figure out just what will be cut and what won't, all isn't lost. Quite a bit of ASO and ADAP monies were previously set aside in other portions of the health budget that was approved.

First, the Governor's Veto # 107  of Budget Part IV - Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage was indeed NOT overridden by the House, therefore that part did not even make it to the Senate - it died in the House at 1:00 a.m. this past Thursday early morning, June 17.
Second, as for ADAP, SC has constructed its internal ADAP contribution from two basic sources:
Reoccurring dollars - these are still in the budget that passed, but the exact dollar amount remains to be seen due to overall cuts DHEC sustained during the budget process. 
One-time dollars - these were in Part IV, which was vetoed in its entirety by the Governor's Veto # 107.  For 2-3 years now, these one-time dollars have supplemented SC's ADAP program.

So many who have already been on ADAP or are currently being treated through ASOs should/might remain covered. The ones who are diagnosed and in need of assistance from now to the end of the fiscal year (don't quote me but I think that's mar 2011) will be the ones left out in the cold, untreated and added to our wait list. :'(
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline leatherman

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Re: SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2010, 03:00:33 PM »
Although the rallies for ADAP funding in SC back in Mar and May  helped stopped the legislature from defunding the entire ADAP budget, unfortunately, the State's decision to inadequately fund ADAP may have serious repercussions and result in lessened federal funding in the future.

The Rock Hill, SC (where my ASO, Catawba Care, is located) newspaper, The Herald, had an article today referenced by the Red Ribbon Army on FaceBook discussing the ADAP crisis.

Uncertain future
Even legislators sympathetic to the cause said future state funding for what advocates call the "life-saving" program remains uncertain.

Now, federal funding, the crutch South Carolina's AIDS advocates have leaned on this year, might be in limbo because of insufficient state matching funds, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said.

The state requested and was granted a waiver of the match requirements for the drug assistance program last year, Health and Human Services spokesman David Bowman said in an e-mail.

Still, a match shortcoming could "adversely affect its funding for the following year," Bowman said.


leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada


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