Group to hold rally asking SC legislators for AIDS funding

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina HIV AIDS Care Crisis Task Force comprised of people throughout the state, will hold a rally in Columbia Wednesday morning.

The goal of the Task Force is to reinstate the AIDS Drug Assistance Program funding for patients living with HIV and AIDS. The rally is at 10 a.m.

Pam Sykes is an HIV and AIDS advocate who is currently living with the disease. Sykes says there are more than 300 people in the state living with the disease that are on a waiting list and don't have the access to get the proper medication they need to stay alive.

"Funding has been cut tremendously for people that may not have enough or any insurance," Sykes said.

Sykes says she wants Legislatures to know the importance of putting this money back in the state.

"Why should they decide who lives and who dies," Sykes said.

According to Virginia King, with Lowcountry Aids Services, South Carolina ranks 10th in the nation for new HIV and AIDS cases.

To try and put a dent in this major epidemic places like the Lowcountry Aids Services here in Charleston offer free testing daily at their center.

The test along with results take only about 20 minutes.

"It is imperative that people get tested and know what their status is and take action," King said.

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