April 11, 2011
Last summer there was news about drastic cuts made to the Ohio AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, which help low-income Ohioans living with HIV access good medical care. After the cuts were over, hundreds of people were put on a waiting list to access the life-saving treatments they need.I am a student majoring in social work and also work at a nonprofit organization. I have seen these budget cuts affect many people in our community. The services being cut (locally and nationwide) are targeting the some of the most vulnerable populations.Since then, the waiting list has continued to grow, and is now more than 400 people. In short, the situation has gotten worse and will only get worse still if the Governor's budget proposals for ADAP are adopted.Not providing treatment for people with AIDS who need it is disheartening. It increases the number of people who get sick and die, and it helps spread the epidemic (since untreated people are more likely to spread the HIV virus). Times are tough, and we have to make plenty of hard choices, but we can't balance the budget on the backs of people who are sick, and who only want to get well enough to becoming contributing members of society.