Wednesday, May 26, 2010

South Carolina budget cuts funding for AIDS drugs and prevention

The proposed budget in South Carolina  "eliminates all money for the Drug Assistance Program, which provides life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs to the state's low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents" and all monies for HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

HIV/AIDS drugs are expensive. Massively expensive. How expensive? AZT, which has been around for decades, is one of the cheaper ones at $102 for a 30 day supply. Altripla, a 3-in-one daily dose of the the most commonly prescribed reverse transcriptase inhibitors, costs $1500 for a 30 day supply online from Canada. Fuzeon, which is always used in combination with other HIV drugs and works against drug-resistant strains, cost $2654 for a 60 days supply online from Canada.

South Carolina has decided that these costs are too much. They're cutting some 2000 people from the Drug Assistance Program. These people will most likely have to stop taking their medications. Doing so puts them at severe risk. Even if the program is reinstated next year, those who have gone for a year without their medications are at higher risk of opportunistic infections, developing drug resistance and full-blown AIDS.

Simply stated, these budgets cuts could kill someone.

Add to that the fact they want to cut funding to prevention programs concurrently and you have a recipe for disaster.
"South Carolina is considered by many to be a hotbed for the disease.
Per capita, the Palmetto State ranks eighth among states in the rate of new AIDS cases, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Columbia ranks ninth in its per-capita rate of AIDS cases among U.S. cities.
More than 14,000 South Carolinians have been documented as living with HIV/AIDS."

So lets cut the funding for those already sick with HIV/AIDS. Maybe they'll prove Alan Grayson correct and hurry up and die. And oh yeah, let's also stop funding the prevention programs so more of our citizenry can contract HIV.

Whatever happened to Compassionate Conservatism? Hell, whatever happened to common human decency?
H/T to Pam's House Blend.

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