Why the LGBT Community Still Needs the Ryan White Program

Recent estimates of new HIV infections, or HIV incidence, suggest that HIV continues to be a severe problem in the United States. In a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, approximately 47,500 people in the United States contracted HIV in 2010. Compared to 2008, HIV incidence stayed relatively stable in most groups, even decreasing by 21 percent (from 7,700 infections to 6,100 infections) among black women. The statistics among men who have sex with men, or MSM,* and transgender women, however, did not improve to the same degree. There was even a significant increase in HIV incidence among black MSM and transgender women.

For all individuals living with HIV, and especially those populations with increased infection rates, reauthorization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, also known simply as the Ryan White program, is crucial. Ryan White is the largest federal programthat provides treatment specifically for people living with HIV/AIDS. If the Ryan White program is not reauthorized, many people living with HIV will face serious and possibly life-threatening consequences, such as gaps in care not met by other payers and decreased access to medical treatment and services from health care providers.

Read the full article at the Center for American Progress.

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