Insurance Plan Cuts Waiting List For HIV Drugs

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- Valdosta, Ga. - June 20, 2012 -

In January, Georgia had the longest list in the nation of people waiting for HIV medications provided by the government. But over the past six months Georgia has chopped that waiting list by two-thirds.

These HIV medications are very expensive, and few people can afford them without government help. That is why in January over 1,300 people were on the waiting list. That is the most of any state in the nation. But now, just six months later, there are less than 500 people. So what changed?

They're all waiting to join the AIDS Drug Assistance Program which provides the medications for infected people with low or moderate incomes and no health insurance.

The decrease reflects how many Georgians now fall under the "Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan". That's a provision of the 2010 Health Reform Law. Now Georgia has only the 2nd highest waiting list, behind Virginia.

Officials from Georgia's South Health District tell Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that last year in that ten county district including Lowndes County that there were 14 people on that waiting list. As of June, there are only four.