Californians Protest HIV Drug Cuts
Openly gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano joined a large group of protesters at the state capitol in Sacramento yesterday to protest Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan to slash funding from the ADAP budget, which provides free to low cost HIV meds to the uninsured. Rex Wockner adds:
Further, the current plan apparently completely eliminates state funding for the tests that determine if a patient is responding to treatment -- such tests as CD4 counts, viral-load measurement and drug-resistance monitoring. These tests are essentially mandatory in HIV treatment. Doctors use them so they can change a nonresponsive patient's drug combination to another combo that works in that patient -- before the patient's immune system breaks down further and the patient develops a life-threatening opportunistic infection.Wockner's blog has more photos of the protest.
(Top photo: Charlie Peer/Outword Magazine. Bottom two photos: Dan Aiello.)