clear
Saturday September 5th, 2015 6:27AM

Ga. eliminates waiting list for HIV/AIDS drugs

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- Poor and uninsured people in Georgia who need medication to treat HIV and AIDS will no longer need to be placed on a waiting list.

Public Health Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald said Friday that the state has eliminated a waiting list that had grown as a poor economy caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance and because of more aggressive HIV testing. Created in July 2010, the waiting list for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program grew to more than 1,600 people, at one point becoming the largest such list in the country.

"The reduction of our wait list to zero is a remarkable accomplishment, especially considering where we were in 2011," Fitzgerald said.

The state erased the list in part by using $8.4 million in federal emergency funding. More than 350 patients previously enrolled in the program were placed into an insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions, part of the new federal health care overhaul. That shift freed up more resources in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

Virginia now has the largest waiting list with 275 people, according to a report from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said state and federal officials deserve recognition for eliminating Georgia's waiting list. But he worried that if Congress makes big budget cuts, Georgia could lose money for its program and the waiting list could return. Waiting lists for the program have been used three times in recent decades.

"I really hope it doesn't come back a fourth time," Graham said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Week 2: Streaks continue, end for area teams
West Hall, Commerce, Lanier, and Jefferson all continued their winning ways in grand style while Buford saw its 42-game win streak come to a screeching halt on a Friday night of lopsided wins around northeast Georgia.
9:00AM ( 2 hours from now )
Sentencing handed down for two former Hall Co. Sheriff Office employees
Federal Judge Richard Story handed out two similar sentences in U.S. District Court in Gainesville Friday afternoon but called each case unique to itself.
6:41PM ( 11 hours ago )
More attempted political comebacks set for Nov. 3; Clermont special election likely in March
As the books closed on qualifying for the Nov. 3 city elections Friday,the number of former office-holders seeking a political comeback in northeast Georgia increased.
6:36PM ( 11 hours ago )
Hall deputies arrest suspect in 2014 molestation case
Acting on a tip, Hall County Sheriff's Office warrants deputies arrested a man this week, suspected of child molestation in 2012.
1:17PM ( 17 hours ago )
Alto man arrested for growing pot
An Alto man is behind bars after authorities say he tried to cut down and dispose of marijuana plants while authorities were searching for pot growers from a helicopter.
12:38PM ( 17 hours ago )