From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi and Magic Johnson Team Up to Increase Access to HIV/AIDS Drugs

July 11, 2003
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider

Washington, 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.

Pelosi and Magic Johnson

Johnson, who 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 issue.”

Magic Johnson said: “We have a big problem. The problem will only increase if we don’t get the proper funding. There are new medical advancements everyday. It’s not about the drugs anymore, it is about the access to the drugs.”

“I have 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.

Also attending 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.




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