North Carolina To Provide Treatment to All 960 HIV-Positive People on ADAP Waiting List, Officials SayNorth Carolina Department of Health and Human Services officials on Thursday announced that new funding sources will allow the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program to provide treatment for all 960 HIV-positive individuals currently on the waiting list, the Charlotte Observer reports (Garloch, Charlotte Observer, 8/20). ADAPs, which are state-managed, federally funded programs, provide medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV-positive individuals (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/12). The state General Assembly recently appropriated $2.75 million in additional funds for ADAP, and the federal government also has promised to provide the state with additional funding for the program. The first 585 individuals on the waiting list will begin receiving benefits in September; the remainder of the beneficiaries will receive assistance later in the fall, according to Steve Sherman, coordinator for the state's ADAP.
North Carolina, which has the lowest ADAP eligibility rates nationwide, is one of 10 states "targeted" by $20 million in federal ADAP funding, the Observer reports. To qualify for ADAP funding in the state, HIV-positive people must have an annual income of less than 125% of the poverty level, $11,600 for a single person and $23,500 for a family of four. North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley (D), who received "pressure" from HIV/AIDS advocates to increase AIDS funding, proposed an additional $4.2 million for the program this year, but the Legislature appropriated a lesser amount, Sherman said. "The General Assembly has for quite a number of years recognized the importance of the [ADAP]," Sherman said, adding, "Even in prior years, when the program did not get any additional resources, we also did not lose any resources. Quite a number of health and human services programs have been force to take reductions" (Charlotte Observer, 8/20).