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Bush approves
Ryan White Act for three more years

Bush approves
Ryan White Act for three more years

Aids_money_1

President Bush on Tuesday signed a bill shifting federal AIDS money to rural areas and the South. The House on December 9 agreed by voice vote to renew the $2.1 billion annual Ryan White Act.

President Bush on Tuesday signed a bill shifting federal AIDS money to rural areas and the South. The House on December 9 agreed by voice vote to renew the $2.1 billion annual Ryan White Act. The Senate passed the bill earlier after senators from New York and New Jersey dropped their opposition, accepting a compromise that settled months of dispute just as Congress adjourned for the year. Lawmakers from some urban areas feared losing money under a five-year renewal of the law. The final deal renews it for three years. That allows earlier reviews of the formulas for distributing money and eliminates the large dollar cuts in the final years that threatened some areas. AIDS began as a big-city epidemic affecting mainly gay white men. The updates, the first since 2000, aim to spread money more equally around the country. The current law had counted only patients with AIDS diagnoses. The revision now counts patients with HIV who have not developed AIDS. That change favors the South and rural areas, for example, where the disease is a newer phenomenon. (Deb Riechmann, AP)

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