Activists Launch Twitter Campaign To Raise Awareness Of AIDS Funding Crisis

The ADAP Advocacy Association has launched a Twitter campaign calling on President Obama to end waiting lists for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a national initiative funded by the federal and state governments and run by the states that provides prescription drug coverage for low-income people with HIV/AIDS.

“The ‘Arab Spring’ brought about change in the Middle East using social media, and now it is our time to start the ‘ADAP Fall’, which will bring change to the beleaguered AIDS Drug Assistance Programs,” the group’s chief executive Brandon Macsata said in a press release. Some Tweets:

@AIDSHealthcare: Obama when u took office 43 AIDS patients were on wait lists for meds now nearly 10,000 AIDS patients waiting @whitehouse #ObamaADAP #RT

@RiseUpToHIV: Pls live up to your commitments set forth in the re-authorization of the RW Care Act and re-double these efforts! #ObamaADAP @whitehouse

@MacsataKornegay: How can 9000+ Americans living with HIV/AIDS be waiting for meds under Democratic President in 2011? @whitehouse #ObamaADAP

As of Sept. 1, at least 9,000 people in 11 states were on a waiting list to receive life-saving medication, while the Obama administration has taken some steps to address the problem. Last month, the administration issued a clarification allowing states to receive at least as much as they received last year in emergency funding for the program.

Still, states have been tightening their budgets over the last year and HIV/AIDS patients are paying the highest price. At least 18 states have taken such steps as capping enrollment, reducing the drug formulary, implementing medical criteria, and lowering the income ceiling for eligibility. ADAP Advocacy is asking users to send hourly tweets to @WhiteHouse under the #ObamaADAP hashtag.