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Despite the fact that high numbers of people continue to receive positive HIV tests, some programs that provide treatment to low-income individuals are being threatened by budget cuts, as government officials work to close deficits. However, these moves have drawn the criticism of some advocates.
Recent reports suggest that the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers funding for state-run HIV programs, has asked Florida officials to reduce eligibility for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program. However, some experts have said that this would leave many needy individuals without access to treatment.
"We have heard directly that HRSA officials are pressuring Florida state officials to reduce the eligibility threshold for ADAP and other lifesaving programs for HIV/AIDS patients in Florida, and we strongly advise Florida officials to resist, push back and seek alternatives to such a drastic measure," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
He added that there are thousands of people on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list in Florida. Making it even more difficult for these individuals to access treatment could result in a major public health challenge.
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