amfAR Calls Protest Against Speaker Pelosi Unwarranted and Counterproductive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager
NEW YORK, August 4, 2010—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Wednesday praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s record on HIV/AIDS as the Speaker was targeted by AIDS activists protesting the funding shortfall that has led to waiting lists for people seeking to enroll in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
ADAP was created in 1987 under the Ryan White Care Act to cover the cost of treatment for low-income people and those without health insurance. Faced with shrinking budgets, 13 states have begun to place people in need of treatment on waiting lists. More than 2,300 people are estimated to be waiting for ADAP services.
“We are very concerned about the ADAP funding crisis, but we strongly disagree with today’s actions by AIDS Healthcare Foundation,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “It’s imperative that everyone who needs and wants lifesaving AIDS treatment is able to access it without delay. But targeting Speaker Pelosi, who has been a champion on HIV/AIDS issues for decades and who has been responsible for major increases in AIDS funding, is not the way to accomplish that goal.”
While funding for ADAP remains inadequate to meet the need, the Obama administration last month announced that it would make an additional $25 million available to cover the funding shortfall for the balance of the current fiscal year. Also last month, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved an FY11 funding bill that provides an increase of over $84 million for the Ryan White program, including a $50 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.