Programs need more funding

News Notes: Carolinas

by Lainey Millen  Special Assignments  specialassignments@goqnotes.com
Published: December 10, 2011 in Carolinas News Notes

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina AIDS Director Jacquelyn Clymore (pictured) said in an interview on Dec. 1 with Chris Fitzsimon on NC Policy’s Watch’s “News & Views” radio show that although AIDS patients today are experiencing longer and better lives, more treatment and research funding is still needed.

Jacquelyn Clymore

At this time last year, Clymore reported that the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) would have to put a cap on how many it could serve in 2011, thus necessitating the need for a waiting list. It now has more than 6,200 individuals on its roster, with 106 more still on standby. The program dispenses anti-retroviral medication.

The University of North Carolina on July 18 released details from a landmark HIV prevention trial, the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 study at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome.

Clymore shared these findings stating that if those who are HIV positive were to receive early treatment and care and would take their medications as directed that they reduce their transmission rate by 96 percent. It means that their viral load is so suppressed that they do not transmit virus to their uninfected partners.

“This study represents the culmination of many years of work, and we are thrilled by its success and by the opportunity to share these data with our colleagues and the public,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, J. Herbert Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC and principal investigator of the study.

“This is the best news we’ve seen in years since AZT came out years ago,” Clymore added. She also said that it was the most effective prevention tool and was powerful.

ADAP is funded jointly by state and federal monies and is designed to provide a resource for low income residents. Gross income must be at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. It is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides other lists of resources for those with HIV/AIDS, like information on the Ryan White Fund, legal and bilingual information services, local health departments and AIDS service organizations, as well as programs for those who are incarcerated. It also lists pharmaceutical assistance programs from a variety of programs and manufacturers.

For more information, visit ncpolicywatch.com to listen to the entire interview.