Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

ADAP Funding Threatened by Teabaggers & Conservative Democrats

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edfu:
...and possibly the White House.

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/06/09/aids-drug-funds-threatened-by-tea-party-scare/#comments

Moffie65:
What is really sad Ed, is that this is not a new story, but a repeat of what we have had to go through every year since ADAP was created.  This time though, I am not as hopeful or positive as I have been in the past, because really, nobody really cares anymore, and they are tired of the HIV pandemic, which in their minds will go away if they just ignore it. 

I guess we'll see how this thread goes, but I would be surprised if it got anyone who is a member here pissed off enough to really do anything about it but complain more and more.

leatherman:
This ADAP funding crisis is very hard to decipher for a good solution. With rising numbers of HIV infections along with rising numbers of people needing medical assistance, our government sends all sort of money overseas (for wars and aid to other nations) while misspending money here (like in SC for beauty pageants and golf tournaments). Part of me hopes that the $126 million can be gotten to "fix" this year's shortfall; while the other part of me knows that if the money was better spent, we could have already properly funded the ADAP program and never had this "crisis". It saddens me to think of all the people who will suffer without meds or by losing the meds that they have been receiving. Even if more money is pumped into the program, there have already been over 1000 people whose lives have been severely affected by these shortfalls.


Thankfully, some HIV drug manufacturers are jumping in to help with the issue (see "Drug Companies give help for hard hit ADAPs") by discounts and/or free meds to those in need.



--- Quote from: Moffie65 on June 09, 2010, 06:03:14 PM ---I guess we'll see how this thread goes, but I would be surprised if it got anyone who is a member here pissed off enough to really do anything about it but complain more and more.

--- End quote ---
sadly, you're probably right, as several members and I have been discussed this very issue. I'm coming to think that there is a great apathy that is dooming the ADAP program.

First, like you said, the general public just wants the problem to go away. Having heard about AIDS for years and years, people are just tired/apathetic of this long-term epidemic. Of course, not having people die as frequently and the general impression that the problem has been "solved" with once-a-day pills makes the average joe not understand the issue behind people dying without ADAP-supplied meds.

Then there's the sad attitude among pozzies of a kind of "I've got mine, so I don't care about you". We hear in the some threads how precarious it is for some people to keep access to meds, a situation that is very hard for others, who have never had access problems, to sympathize with and/or to understand.

Even people who are using or have used help from ADAP seem apathetic to speaking out, rallying or offering any solutions beyond stating the obvious problem.

At the recent rally in SC, I was distressed to only see 200+ people representing 2000+ people helped by ADAP in that state. Mainly Social Workers, Agency directors and Pastors, along with a few activists like myself and less than a dozen actual ADAP-users added up to only 10% representing the people who currently use ADAP in SC. Leaving after the rally, all I could wonder was where were those 2000+ ADAP users fighting to keep their assistance and the meds that they needed to stay alive??


anyone interested in contacting government officials about the ADAP crisis can find more information in edfu's earlier thread, Demand that President & Congress Address the ADAP Crisis!, to contact officials at the federal level; or in my thread specific to SC,SC ADAP Funding Cut Protest Rally, with contact information about SC state officials and the rallies that have been held in Columbia SC - that have thankfully influenced our legislators, while unfortunately not to add to the ADAP budget, at least not to not strip out the regular budgeted ADAP monies.

edfu:
I look it like this, as in the famous quote from Rev. Martin Niemoller in World War II:


"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up."


A related thought about this crisis that keeps disturbing me (and it has been raised before):  So many are doing so much to encourage everyone to get tested for HIV.  However, if you end up testing positive and cannot afford anti-retrovirals without the assistance of programs like ADAP, and you're put on a waiting list with hundreds of names ahead of you....

What then?  Psychologically--let alone medically--are you better off knowing, even though you can't do anything to fight the virus?  Does this situation contribute to encourage many to test? 


jkinatl2:
Well, I hardly think that using your life as a bargaining chip is the wisest possible idea. If you are under the poverty level in the US, you qualify for assistance - from food stamps to free-or seriously reduced- medical treatment. Most states with an AIDS Service organization will have a social worker on staff who can assist you in getting your meds. There also is a fairly large underground network of drug donations. I myself participated often in ine here on AIDSMEDS, run by the late and lamented Lisa Nowack.

Can you imagine that she was actually given flack, and run underground herself by members of this very forum for redistributing drugs?

There are almost ALWAYS possibilities. You have to keep your wits about you, and cultivate a strong network of support. One of the perks of disclosure is that when the chips are down, those who know what you are going through are likely to be in the position to be of some help.

As far as not testing, well, the alternative is going to the hospital when one comes down with PCP or another preventable OI. And then bankrupting themselves, losing all possessions and having to negotiate the quagmire of social security and disability when one is in no position to think clearly, or to wait.

After that, assuming you don't die, yeah, then stuff gets a lot more free.

For the rest of your artificially lengthened life, as the slightest blip in income can strip all those lifesaving meds and doctors visits and food and shelter out from under a person.

The system IS broken, I admit. However, throwing ourselves into the gears to stop that system is NOT sabotage. It is suicide.

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