Magic Johnson Team Up to Increase Access to HIV/AIDS Drugs
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and basketball legend
Earvin Magic Johnson teamed up this week to push to
make HIV/AIDS drugs more available to those in need.
was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, met with Pelosi to discuss the importance
of allocating more federal dollars for the AIDS Drug Assistance
Program (ADAP), which funds programs that help dispense medications
to low-income AIDS patients in the United States.
For 16 years, I have worked in Congress to increase funding
for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and treatment, including funds
to insure all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to lifesaving
AIDS medications, Pelosi said. When Magic Johnson voices
concern about the lack of access to the proper medications that
HIV/AIDS patients desperately need, it brings new attention to the
said: We have a big problem. The problem will only increase
if we dont get the proper funding. There are new medical advancements
everyday. Its not about the drugs anymore, it is about the
access to the drugs.
been truly blessed. There are so many people out there that are
trying to take care of themselves. All they need is help getting
what they need to live long, productive lives. That is why I am
here, Johnson added.
The House Labor,
Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill includes
$753.3 million for ADAP in 2004. Pelosi, Johnson and other HIV/AIDS
advocates requested $994 million.
the meeting: Congressman Baron Hill (D-IN); former Congressman Alan
Wheat (D-MO); Terje Anderson, Executive Director, National Association
of People with AIDS; and Beny J. Primm, M.D., Executive Director
of the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation.