Obama administration to beef up AIDS funding

The Department of Health and Human Services is reallocating $25 million to help patients with HIV and AIDS, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius vowed this week. Sebelius made the promise in a letter to Republican senators who have introduced legislation to transfer unobligated stimulus money to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

Almost 2,100 patients are on ADAP waiting lists in states across the country. AIDS advocates praised the move but said more needs to be done.

"The Obama administration recognizes the importance access to medications is to people with HIV/AIDS and the particular hardship states are currently experiencing due to the economic downturn," said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute. 

"This additional funding will help some people who are currently waiting to receive medications through the ADAP program and some of the projected increased demand. Unfortunately, it is far from the $126 million needed for the remainder of the fiscal year to ensure that all people with HIV/AIDS who qualify for ADAP can receive their medications."

Cross-posted from Healthwatch.