President Signs Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act

CARE actPresident George W. Bush signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 into law today, officially reauthorizing the Ryan White CARE Act until Sept 30, 2009. AIDS Action Council, a Washington non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS and that helped to create and ensure passage of the original Ryan White CARE Act in 1990, expressed its thanks to the President and to Members of Congress who took action to pass the reauthorized CARE Act prior to the 109th Congress's final adjournment.

"We are pleased that the President and Congress engaged in a serious, bipartisan, bicameral effort. This bill will clearly serve many people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States," said Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action Council. "However, this bill alone is not sufficient to ensure that life saving drugs and medical treatment is available to all who are infected. Appropriations have fallen far short over the last several years while the epidemic is growing with 40,000 new infections every year. The reality is we need more funding. We urge the President to add additional funds to his budget request for next year and will work with the new Congress to make sure that additional resources are made available."

There are an estimated 250,000 people in the U.S. who are infected with the HIV virus but are unaware of their status and not in medical care. The CDC has recently recommended routine testing in order to increase identification of those who are infected.

Katy Caldwell, Executive Director of Legacy Community Health Services in Houston and Board Chair of AIDS Action Council said, "It's important for everyone to understand that the epidemic is increasing, and that renewed efforts are being made to identify those who are not currently diagnosed and to get them into care and treatment. The current funding is not sufficient to address the needs of those already in the system, much less the newly diagnosed. If the President and Congress want to end this epidemic, they must devote more resources to fighting this terrible disease."

AIDS Action strives to end the HIV epidemic by advancing public policies that prevent new infections, provide care for people living with HIV, and support the search for a cure. AIDS Action serves as the national voice for AIDS service organizations, health departments, and a diverse network of community-based organizations across the country that provide services for people living with or affected by HIV infection.

AIDS Action

via Medical News Today