For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Kristen Hellwig
213.201.1453 (o)
310.254.5666 (m)
media@apla.org

AIDS Project Los Angeles Pleased with Governor’s Budget Proposal, Mindful of Healthcare Reform Implementation

Initial budget maintains access to AIDS drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS

Los Angeles, Calif., January 10, 2013 — AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) today applauded Governor Jerry Brown for maintaining California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) at current levels of service, in his January budget proposal. The governor’s proposal would enable the program to provide lifesaving HIV/AIDS drug therapies at no cost to over 40,000 low-income Californians living with HIV/AIDS. In previous years, the governor has proposed cuts and onerous cost-sharing in ADAP.

While ADAP is spared cuts in the coming year, the budget proposal leaves open many questions about how the future expansion of Medi-Cal and implementation of the Health Benefits Exchange – known as “Covered California” – will impact thousands of low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. The expansion is mandated under the Affordable Care Act (or healthcare reform) in 2014. Additionally, the governor’s budget proposes a small delay in the start of a significant overhaul in access to services for those people enrolled in both Medicare and Medi-Cal.

“We are grateful to the governor -- and to the voters who approved Proposition 30 in November 2012 -- for sparing people living with HIV/AIDS from additional cuts to services, beyond those cuts approved in years past,” says APLA Executive Director Craig E. Thompson. “We look forward to working with the Governor and his administration to ensure that healthcare reform maintains and improves access to care and services for people with HIV/AIDS in California.”

ADAP provides HIV/AIDS medications free of charge for those earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The program’s cost is paid through state general funds, federal funds, and rebates from pharmaceutical companies. Los Angeles County residents living with HIV/AIDS account for about 45 percent of all ADAP beneficiaries statewide.

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AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) was founded in 1983 and is one of the largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States. APLA provides bilingual support to more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County annually and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Additionally, APLA conducts behavioral research designed to inform the development of evidenced-based interventions and assists health departments in evaluating their HIV/AIDS services to ensure the delivery of effective and quality programs. APLA also provides administrative and fiscal support to the Global Forum on Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSMGF), which promotes and advocated for the health and human rights of MSM internationally. APLA is proud to be a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, please visit apla.org.

APLA Health & Wellness (APLAHW) provides primary medical and oral health care, behavioral health services, HIV testing, PrEP counseling and management of eligible clients, STD screening/treatment, and health education and HIV-prevention services, with a specific focus on low-income gay and bisexual men of color and transgender individuals living in Los Angeles County. APLAHW is a federally qualified health center that includes: the Gleicher / Chen Health Center in South Los Angeles; the Wilshire Dental Clinic downtown; Behavioral Health Services at the David Geffen Center in Mid-City; as well as a mobile dental facility. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Dental Clinic in South Los Angeles is also part of APLAHW. APLAHW serves more than 8,000 people each year. For more information, please visit aplahw.org.

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