Association of People With AIDS on Tuesday called for prompt
reauthorization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS
Resources Emergency Act, issuing a set of principles to
guide the legislation. The current Ryan White Act expires at
the end of September 2005, and Congress is charged with
reauthorizing the act before then.
"As Congress decides this program's future direction,
we want to emphasize the fact that our very lives depend on
a compassionate and comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS in
America," said NAPWA executive director Terje Anderson.
NAPWA sought input nationwide from people living with
HIV/AIDS over a two-year period, resulting in the document
"Guiding Principles for the 2005 Reauthorization of the Ryan
White CARE Act." "Well over 1 million Americans are living
with HIV/AIDS. The large majority is people of color, many
are poor and working people, and most are uninsured or
underinsured," said Anderson. "Their experiences with a
complex health care system tell us a great deal about how
Congress should take up this vital legislation."
NAPWA is calling for Congress to:
1) Provide new resources to meet the growing need for
HIV services in every part of the country, particularly in
areas with emerging HIV care issues;
2) Support a comprehensive care approach that
includes not just medical care and treatment but also other
essential support services;
3) Enhance the role of HIV-positive people in all
aspects of the Ryan White Act;
4) Retain the Ryan White Act's focus on HIV care and
treatment by not allowing it to become a vehicle for
legislation on social issues related to HIV prevention.