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Franklin County Judge Blocks AIDS Medication Program Changes.

A judge has blocked the Ohio Department of Health from implementing new rules for an HIV/AIDS medication program for low-income patients until a public hearing is held. In his ruling, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Timothy addresses proposals to allow the department to create a waiting-list priority system and to lower income thresholds. They were set to go into effect Nov. 4, and an earlier order had temporarily blocked them until the judge could hear from attorney. Siding with three AIDS patients who filed suit, Horton said the changes "have a life altering impact on the health and well-being of... recipients." Health department spokeswoman Tessie Pollock says the wait list is empty and that the changes are plans in case funds become scarce in the future. The federally funded program serves about 5,600 patients.