Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act 2009 Signed

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Indiana teenager Ryan White was expelled from school when it was learned that he had contracted HIV/AIDS from treatment of his hemophilia. He died from the disease in April 1990, but his struggle resulted in the Ryan White Care Act passed in August 1990.

On October 21st, the House passed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act (S.1793), reauthorizing the Ryan White program for four years. This past Thursday, Oct 29, 2009, Ryan White’s mother Jeanne White-Ginder was present at the signing ceremony of this fourth extension of the original Care Act.

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The Ryan White program has served people with AIDS and HIV for nearly two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 50,000 new HIV/AIDS infections reported each year. Approximately 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

The Ryan White program provides care, treatment and support services to nearly half a million people. The Extension Act increased the authorization level for each part of the Ryan White program by 5 percent a year for the next four years. The authorized funding for 2010 totals $2.55 billion and increases to $2.95 billion in 2013.

Below is an overview of some of the bill’s key provisions:

  • Preserves access to life-saving medications, health care and support services for persons living with HIV and AIDS who have come to depend on publicly-funded systems;
  • Extends the system of care to persons with HIV and AIDS who have faced waiting lists for medications and severe limits on their access to specialty health care;
  • Protects governmental and community-based institutions charged with providing this care as all face growing case loads and the more challenging needs of an evolving population of persons with HIV/AIDS;
  • Balances the needs of high-prevalence cities and states with those experiencing rapidly growing epidemics.

Sources
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Senate Website
The Iowa Independent

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