Who is SCHTF?
The Task Force is each and every one of the people determined to make a positive difference in the health and lives of People Living with HIV in the state of SC.
The South Carolina HIV Task Force is a non-partisan advocacy coalition of individuals, non-profit organizations, and allies from across South Carolina committed to improving the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our state.
In 2006, the state of South Carolina started a waiting list for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). That meant that medically-eligible, fiscally-eligible South Carolinians who should have gotten assistance to have necessary HIV medications were unable to get state assistance and put on a waiting list. Without proper medication, HIV always grows worse, until it becomes AIDS, and AIDS always ends in death. Sadly in 2003, 8 US citizens had already died while on the waiting lists in Kentucky and West Virginia. By December 2006 4 South Carolinians were added to that total when they passed away from lack of medications while on the SC ADAP waiting list. Yes, in America, people died from not having medications.
In October of 2006, concerned citizens in our state came from various AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), hospitals, DHEC, and other groups to join hand-in-hand with People Living with HIV/AIDS to ask for help from the State to fully fund ADAP so that no one else, none of our fellow neighbors, would die from a lack a medication in this great state. Thankfully, our State government and the Federal government listened and emergency funding cleared the waiting lists to zero by insuring everyone that was HIV positive who needed medications had access to medications.
However, a few short years later, we realized that no real lessons had been learned by the sorrow and shame of having citizens die in our State by not having access to medications. By June 2010, a new waiting list was started. By the Summer of 2011, there were nearly 1,000 people on the waiting list. Thankfully, an emergency contribution from the federal government came through and nearly cleared the list. Sadly though, it wasn’t enough, and every month as more people receive their new diagnosis of being HIV positive, more and more people are needing assistance to obtain the daily HIV medications.