All About The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

Many patients living with HIV or AIDS take special medications to treat their conditions, which are often very expensive. There has been an increase in demand for HIV and AIDS treatment and medication, for a number of reasons. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The epidemic is growing rapidly among minorities, who have historically experienced higher risk for poverty, lack of health insurance, comorbidity, and disenfranchisement from the health care system. The result is a growing number of people living with HIV disease who require public support.” Low-income patients diagnosed with HIV or AIDS often need additional financial assistance to cover the high cost of their treatments.


Federal Help

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.03.26 AMLuckily there is help available in each state and territory of the United States. “Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-87) provides grants to States and U.S. Territories to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV/AIDS health care and support services.” Under this extension all 50 states now have federal financial backing to help low-income patients get access to HIV/AIDS medication and treatment. “ADAP provides medications for the treatment of HIV disease. Program funds may also be used to purchase health insurance for eligible clients and for services that enhance access to, adherence to, and monitoring of drug treatments.”


At The State Level

The states run the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs locally, so there are differences from state to state. The formulary, or list of medications, differs from state to state as does the method of distribution. Some states distribute medications through public health clinics, while others use a reimbursement model or drugs-by-mail model. Some states also have different eligibility requirements, relating to the progression of the disease or the financial status of the patient.


The Need

Although HIV and AIDS have not been a primary focus in healthcare in the media for some time, it still affects a large number of Americans. “The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 1,148,200 Americans aged 13 and older were living with HIV in 2009.”  This has kept the ADAP programs very busy: “Approximately 175,194 people received medications through ADAP in calendar year 2008.” Of those who received medication through ADAP, 83% had an annual household income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($23,550 for a family of four). For 2010 a total of $835 million was earmarked for ADAP on the federal level, which does not include funding at the state level.


ADAP Listings on NeedyMeds

We list the ADAP programs for each state on the NeedyMeds website. You can find your state’s program(s) by clicking on Government Programs and checking State Sponsored Programs. Choose your state and look for HIV/AIDS Programs. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail or give our toll-free helpline a call at (800) 503-6897.

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Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.