South Carolina's Health Department recently confirmed that 3 AIDS patients who were awaiting life saving anti-retroviral drugs
passed away due to the long waiting list for ADAP(AIDS Drugs Assistance Program) assistance.
There's a total of 300 people currently infected in South Carolina that are waiting to receive HIV therapy and the list is expected to get longer by the end of the year. The State only provides $500,000 for their ADAP program and federal funding has been essentially flat for the last four years.
South Carolina's ADAP program currently serves about 1,800 clients. The participants are 67% African-American and 85% earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level (approximately $19,000 a year).
"The saddest part of this," stated US Representative MauriceHinchey, "is that everyone in Congress is well aware that these drugs save lives. It isn't ignorance; instead it's a dangerous incapacity in Congress to be able to prioritize saving human lives.
The ADAP waiting lists are the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of people with HIV who are not being treated in America that aren't even on waiting lists.
A reminder that we do not live in Africa where these drugs are scarce, they are manufactured and sold righ here in America. Yet a majority of Americans are without healthcare and the drugs they need to live a quality life.
Hopefully today when Americans go to the polls they will send a clear message to our leaders in Washington that gay marriage, abortion, and flag burning is not a priority for the overwhelming majority of Americans.
A tragedy like this should never happen again in America.