A scathing January 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services alleges that Florida’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS mismanaged "millions" in state and federal funds while administering its AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), reports The Florida Independent. Florida’s ADAP now has the "longest waiting list in the nation" and faces a budget deficit of up to $32 million.
Florida program management did not provide sufficient due diligence using available data and program experience to trend and project future medication needs and expenditures. In addition management failed to adhere to principles of sound fiscal stewardship by neglecting to initiate and implement cost containment strategies and revenue enhancements before a crisis ensued.
The Florida Department of Health’s inability to manage the Ryan White grant has resulted in the current deficit, which jeopardizes access to HIV services and medications. The reports calls on the department to ensure that Ryan White funds provide access to comprehensive high-quality community-based care for low-income individuals and families living with HIV.
Auditors found the state used ADAP funding to pay the salaries of officials "with little or no role" in administering the program. The report also found the Bureau of HIV/AIDS was awarded $3.05 million to take 357 clients off the waiting list, but had failed to do so.
The recession has forced a number of states to slash funding to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the federal/state program that helps low-income, people living with HIV/AIDS pay for their expensive, life-saving medications. Those in the program are disproportionately black, many of the men are gay or bisexual.
It would be truly tragic if these charges are true.