South Carolina’s HIV/AIDS “problem is an enormous one,” and state lawmakers “need to review the programs that fund HIV treatment” in the state, a Columbia State editorial says. South Carolina’s HIV prevalence ranks 10th nationwide, and 74% of newly diagnosed HIV cases are among black residents, the editorial says.
In addition, HIV/AIDS advocates have said that the state budget has allocated $500,000 for the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive residents, whereas North Carolina allocated $12 million, according to the editorial. South Carolina’s ADAP has 144 people on the waiting list, the editorial adds.
“In our prosperous society, no one should have to wait for the medicines that control the damage that HIV does to the immune system,” the editorial says, adding, “Forcing people to wait is more than cruel; it puts off a chance to limit the disease’s damage. ... [I]f a lack of state dollars is causing people to wait for medications, that must be fixed” (Columbia State, 8/26).
Revision date: July 9, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD