The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will close the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program on October 31, 2005.
The program was established when President Bill Clinton signed into law the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998. The Act (Public Law 105-369) was created by Congress to make compensation payments of $100,000 to individuals with hemophilia who were treated with HIV-contaminated clotting factor products between July 1, 1982 and December 31, 1987. Spouses and children who contracted HIV from these individuals, as well as specified family survivors were also eligible for compassionate payment. The program has made payments totaling in excess of $559 million to more than 7,171 eligible individuals and survivors.
The Act was named in honor of Ricky Ray, a Florida boy with hemophilia, who died from HIV/AIDS in 1992 at the age of 15. Ricky and his family withstood scorn and active persecution stemming from his community’s fear and ignorance. The story of Ricky and of the thousands like him inspired a five-year lobbying effort by community members nationwide, the National Hemophilia Foundation, the Committee of Ten Thousand and other organizations. Only through sustained and collaborative advocacy was the Ricky Ray Program achieved for the bleeding disorders community.
To read more about the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Program and its closure go to www.bhpr.hrsa.gov/rickyray/default.htm or call 301-443-2330.
Source: Federal Register notice dated September 29, 2005