Press Release

A Letter to President Obama, in Response to Release of National AIDS Strategy

Kawata Says, "The Blueprint Is There ... But Now Attention Must Shift to Resources."

July 13, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- Paul Kawata, Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) responds to Tuesday's release of the National AIDS Strategy with a letter to President Obama:

Honorable Barack H. Obama
President, United States Of America
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear President Obama,

On behalf of the 180 national and community based organizations (see list below) on the frontlines of this epidemic, thank you for your leadership and commitment to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Each of us stands here in the footprints of so many heroes we've lost to HIV/AIDS. Our friends who fought so hard in the early days could probably never imagine a President holding a reception at the White House to honor the HIV/AIDS community. Most would have loved to be part of this event. We miss them and will never forget the sacrifices they made so that we can be here today.

In the first 18 months of your administration the travel ban on those living with HIV was removed, restrictions on the use of federal funds to support needle exchange were removed, the Ryan White Care Act was reauthorized, and $30.4 Million was set aside as part of the Prevention and Wellness Fund for HIV/AIDS Prevention. However, we've also had our challenges in ensuring adequate funding for PEPFAR and other international HIV/AIDS initiatives.

As you implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we ask that the first thing you address is the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) funding crisis. We appreciate the $25 million to see us through September 30, 2010; however, we are concerned that is not a long term solution and will only get us through a limited period. As of July 8th, 2010, 2291* Individuals are on the waiting list. This number does not include individuals in states that either don't keep waiting lists, have significantly reduced the drug formulary or have significantly changed the income eligibility levels. On July 1st, Georgia became the 12th state to close enrollment and start a waiting list. Ohio changed its income eligibility levels so that more then 1000 HIV/AIDS patients will lose their benefits. New Jersey also changed its income eligibility levels so that 947 HIV/AIDS patients will lose their benefits. Without an immediate solution, other states will follow.

As you consider solutions, please make it

  1. Multi-year funding through 2014;
  2. Support states that don't keep waiting lists but have closed enrollment or that are on the brink of a waiting list;
  3. Ensure that all the necessary drugs are covered; and
  4. Integration of a permanent solution into health care reform.

We look forward to the reviewing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the opportunity to work with your administration to ensure its implementation across the country. Thank you for your support and leadership.


2 God B The Glory, Inc
Women Supportive Housing Program
Baltimore, MD

A Brave New Day
Jackson, MS

A Family Affair
Orangeburg, SC

ACT UP Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Action for a Better Community
Rochester, NY

Advocates For Youth
Washington, DC

African American Hispanic Health Education Resource Center
Peoria, AZ

AID For AIDS Nevada
Las Vegas, NV

AIDS Alabama
Birmingham, AL

AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families
Washington, DC

AIDS Care Services, Inc
Winston-Salem, NC

AIDS Community Research Initiative of America
New York, NY

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Chicago, IL

AIDS/HIV Services Group (ASG)
Charlottesville, VA

The AIDS LIFE Campaign
Hartford, CT

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

AIDS Project of Central Iowa
Des Moines, IA

AIDS Resources of Rural Texas
Abilene, TX

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC)
New York, NY

Albany Damien Center
Albany, NY

Amanda Beck-Myers

Shreveport, LA

Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Silver Spring, Maryland

Asian Media Access
Minneapolis, MN

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum San Francisco, CA

Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS
New York, NY

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
San Francisco, CA

Aspirations Wholistic Tutorial Services
Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge AIDS Society
Baton Rouge, LA

Bienestar Human Services
Los Angeles, CA

Black AIDS Institute
Los Angeles, CA

The Black Women's Health Imperative
Washington, DC

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
New York, New York

Paul Browne
Riverdale Park, MD

CAEAR Coalition
Washington, DC

Chicago, IL

Camden NJ Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Camden, New Jersey

Camillus Health Concern, Inc.
Miami, FL

Kalamazoo, MI

CareSouth Carolina
Society Hill, SC

Cascade AIDS Project
Portland, OR

Central City AIDS Network, Inc.
Macon, GA

Central Illinois FRIENDS of People with AIDS
Peoria, IL

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Fort Lauderdale, FL

William H. Chastang
Consumer Advocate/Outreach Coordinator
Mobile, AL

Christie's Place, Inc.
San Diego, CA

Citywide Project/Citywide Ministries
Atlanta, GA

Coai, Inc
San Juan, PR

Community Access National Network
Washington, DC

Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)
New York, NY/Providence, RI

Community Information Center, Inc
Portland, OR

Comprehensive Health Education
Milwaukee, WI

Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition
Hartford, CT

DeKalb Prevention Alliance, Inc
Decatur, GA

Desert AIDS Project
Palm Springs, CA

Gregory W. Edwards, EdD
San Francisco, CA

Eternal Hope Community Development Corporation, Inc.
East Orange, New Jersey Family Heath & AIDS Care Services International
Houston, TX

Family Health Project
New York, NY

Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico
San Juan, PR

F.L.A.S., INC. Houston, TX

Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center, Inc.
Fort Worth, TX

Greater Love Tabernacle
Dorchester, MA

Gregory House Programs
Honolulu, HI

GROUP Ministries, inc.
Buffalo, New York

Harlem United Community AIDS Center
New York, NY

Harmony House, Inc.
Houston, Texas

Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation
Kailua Kona, HI

Hermanas de Luna y Sol
Long Beach, CA

Columbia, LA

HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Inc.
Baton Rouge, LA

HIV/AIDS Services for African Americans in Alaska
Anchorage, AK

Atlanta, GA

HIV Care Program
Chicago, IL

HIVictorious, Inc.
Madison, WI

HIV Planning Council Santa Clara County
Santa Clara, CA

Housing Works
New York, NY

Illinois Alliance for Sound AIDS Policy
Chicago, IL

Iris House
New York, NY

Johns Hopkins Local Performance Site
PA/MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center
Baltimore, MD

Monica Johnson
NMAC Board Member
Columbia, LA

Lambda Legal
New York, NY

Lark Lands, M.S., Ph.D.

The LaStraw, Inc
Greensboro, NC

Latino Commission on AIDS
New York, NY

Latino Community Services,
Hartford, CT

Helen Lemay
Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita
Stony Brook University
New York, NY

Liberty Research Group
Rochester, NY

Don Little, MPH
Former Chair of the Oklahoma Native American AIDS Coalition

The Living Room
Fresno, CA

LMPHW Specialty Clinic
Louisville, KY

Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education
New York, NY

Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center
New York, NY

Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group

Michigan Positive Action Coalition (MI-POZ)
Detroit, MI

Minnesota AIDS Project
Minneapolis, MN

Minority AIDS Council of Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun Council, Inc.
Orangeburg, South Carolina

Missoula AIDS Council
Missoula, MT

MOCHA Center Inc.
Buffalo & Rochester, NY

Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Inc.
Jamaica Plain, MA

The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt
Atlanta, GA

Native Health
Phoenix, AZ

National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.
Washington, DC

National AIDS Fund
Washington, DC

National AIDS Housing Coalition
Washington, DC

National Association of People with AIDS
Washington, DC

National Association of Social Workers
Washington, DC

National Latino AIDS Action Network
Washington, DC

National Minority AIDS Council
Washington, DC

National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
Denver, CO

NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training
Long Beach, CA

New Jersey Women and AIDS Network
New Brunswick, NJ

New Destiny Recovery Ministry
Baltimore, MD

New York AIDS Coalition
New York, NY

New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN)
New York, NY

Nightsweats & T-cells, Co
Cleveland, OH

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition
Winston Salem, NC

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City, OK

One Heartland
Milwaukee, WI

One Love Project
Boston, MA

Open Door Clinic
Elgin & Aurora, IL

Leonardo Ortega
NMAC Board Member
Washington, DC

David G. Ostrow, MD, PhD
Chicago, IL

Partnership Project
Portland, OR

Choyce Perkinds
Advocate For AAHHERC
Peoria, AZ

Positive Efforts, Inc
Houston, TX

Project Aware at Stanley Street Treatment & Resources
Fall River, MA

Elizabeth, NJ

Project HANDLE, Neighborhood House
Seattle, WA

Project Lazarus
New Orleans, LA

Project Link of South Florida, Inc.
Wilton Manors, FL

Proyecto SOL Filadelfia
Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS (PR CoNCRA)
San Juan, PR

Andre Weatherby Rawls
Chicago, IL

Recovery 2000, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Redemption Outreach Intl
Queens, NY

Regional AIDS Project
Manhattan, KS

Genevieve Rohan, FNP-C, AAHIVMS and Tegest Hailu, MD, AAHIVMS, Hailu/Rohan Family Practice
Fresno, CA

St. Paul, MN

Vanessa Sasso
Malden, MA

Seattle HIV/AIDS Planning Council
Seattle, WA

San Francisco, CA

S.H.A.P.E. (Stop HIV/AIDS and Addiction through Prevention and Education)
Detroit, MI

Carlton R. Smith
Baltimore Black Pride,Inc. Founder
Churches United Against AIDS, Board chair
Baltimore, MD

South Carolina Campaign to End AIDS (SC-C2EA)
Columbia, SC

South Central Educational Development, Inc
Bluefield, WV

South Jersey AIDS Alliance
Millville, NJ

South LA Access Center
Los Angeles, CA

Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC)
Birmingham, AL

Southwest Louisiana AHEC
Lafayette, LA

Stanley Street Treatment & Resources
Fall River, MA

Street Works
Nashville, TN

St. Luke AME Church/ Treat Me Right Inc.
New York, NY

Suburban HIV/AIDS Consortium (SHAC)

  • Family Service Association of Bucks County, PA
  • Family Service of Chester County, PA
  • Family and Community Service of Delaware County, PA
  • Family Services of Montgomery County, PA
  • Keystone Care, Montgomery County, PA

TACTS-THE Association of Clinical Trials Services
Chicago, IL

Tampa-Hillsborough Action Plan
Tampa, FL

C. Taylor
Los Angeles, CA

Ti-chee Native AIDS Prevention Project
Bellingham, WA

Rose Todd-Stanford
Cincinnati, OH

Total Health Awareness Team
Rockford, IL

Treat Me Right Inc.
Bronx, NY

Treatment Access Expansion Project
Washington, DC & Boston, MA

Treatment Action Group
New York, NY & Washington, DC

Two Spirit Society of Denver
Edgewater, CO

U Can Do It 2!
Spring, TX

Evelyn Ullah
NMAC Board Member
Miami, FL

Us Helping Us
Washington, DC

Valley AIDS Information Network Inc.
Corvallis , Oregon

Vermont CARES
Burlington, VT

New York, NY

Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA

West County Health Centers, Inc.
Guerneville, CA

Who's Positive
Charlottesville, VA

Willis Center
Worcester MA

The Women's Collective
Washington, DC

Women's Health Center
Brooklyn, NY

Women Together For Change
U.S. Virgin Islands

Women Watch Afrika, Inc.
Decatur, GA

This article was provided by National Minority AIDS Council. Visit NMAC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.