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Health report says Ryan White programs are effective

Health report says Ryan White programs are effective

HIV treatment and care programs supported by the federal Ryan White Act have been effective by reducing the number of HIV-positive people advancing to an AIDS diagnosis and reducing AIDS deaths among the poor, uninsured, and underinsured, according to a Health and Human Services report released Monday. The report, released at the annual Ryan White CARE Act Grantee Conference in Washington, D.C., also found that federally funded HIV treatment and care providers are "very good at reaching populations historically underserved by the larger health care system, such as racial and ethnic minorities." More than 2,700 medical providers who serve more than 500,000 HIV-positive people receive Ryan White funds. Fewer than 10% of HIV-positive people served by Ryan White programs have any private insurance, and about half live below the federal poverty level, according to the report. "The findings of this report show that this department is making a tremendous difference for the hundreds of thousands of Americans with HIV/AIDS," says HHS secretary Tommy Thompson in a press release. However, Thompson warns that "the capacity of providers working in underserved areas must be increased," and "providers must adapt to an environment of few new resources, rising costs, and growing HIV/AIDS prevalence," according to the HHS release. The full report is titled "The AIDS Epidemic and the Ryan White CARE Act: Past Successes and Future Challenges."

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