SOURCE: Ryan White ACTION Campaign

October 19, 2005 11:23 ET

The Future of Ryan White AIDS Funding

Status of Ryan White CARE Act Legislation; Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and Jeanne White-Ginder, Mother of the Late Ryan White, Join Forces to Advocate for Strengthened Legislation

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 19, 2005 -- Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and Jeanne White-Ginder, a prominent advocate and mother of the late Ryan White, the teen who helped bring the issue of AIDS to the nation's attention, have joined forces as part of a national campaign to support reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, which expired on September 30, 2005.

Since its passage in 1990, shortly after Ryan White's death, The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act has provided medical care and treatment for more than half a million low-income, uninsured, or underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. These lifesaving treatments continue to be critical for many of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, with 69 percent of those infected currently uninsured or on public assistance.

The legislation has been extended twice -- both times by wide bipartisan margins in the Congress and is expected to be reauthorized again, although there is concern that funding levels may remain flat. Without increased funding, care and treatment could be denied to some of those currently in treatment. And as the disease continues to spread into new populations and new regions across the U.S. -- an estimated 40,000 new infections occur each year -- the demand for lifesaving treatments will continue to increase.

"Ryan taught us that AIDS can strike anyone, anywhere," noted Mrs. White-Ginder, spokesperson for the Ryan White ACTION Campaign. "As we work together to renew the Ryan White CARE Act, I urge the Congress and the Administration to provide adequate funding so that everyone who is in need of these lifesaving medications and medical care can have the chance to live productive, healthy and longer lives," she continued.

The Ryan White ACTION Campaign was formed by a coalition of HIV/AIDS provider and patient organizations to advocate not only for timely approval of a new bill, but also for increased funding. The program has essentially been flat-funded for the past several years, which coalition members say does not keep up with changes in the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in recent years. New infections tend to be concentrated among the poor, minority populations (both African American and Latino) and people without health insurance. And while urban areas continue to account for the largest concentration of infections, the virus is rapidly spreading into rural areas, particularly in the South.

As noted by Dr. Satcher in an opinion article that appeared in The Hill, "Continued flat funding for CARE Act programs will do little to help eliminate current waiting lists, and nothing to extend care and treatment to people who aren't even on those lists. Instead, it will only serve to pit city against city and state against state for the limited dollars available. A person's ability to receive treatment should not depend upon where in the country they live."

About the Ryan White ACTION Campaign (www.ryanwhiteaction.org)

The Ryan White ACTION Campaign is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of the Ryan White CARE Act, which expired September 30th, and why it needs to be reauthorized and adequately funded. Launched by a coalition of medical providers and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations, including The AIDS Institute, American Academy of HIV Medicine, HIV Medicine Association, and National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the campaign includes the involvement of a number of prominent advocates on HIV/AIDS, including Jeanne White-Ginder and former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

Video: http://www.dwjtv.com/clips/windowsmedia/preview/lipman2auclaire_cb_7.asx

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Maureen Parenta
    DWJ
    201-445-1711