The National Minority Health Month Foundation (NMHMF), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, is circulating a petition aimed at persuading Congress to support modernization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency (CARE) Act. NMHMF asserts that the Act should allow for changes that have occurred since its inception, such as the availability of more antiretroviral drugs and shifting HIV/AIDS patient demographics. “This petition will show Congress that broad grassroots support for the modernization of the Ryan White CARE Act exists among HIV-positive patients and community leaders across the country,” said Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, executive director of NMHMF.
Racial and ethnic minorities currently make up three-quarters of new AIDS cases in the U.S. Many of these patients are on long waiting lists to receive treatment through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides HIV/AIDS drugs to low-income individuals. “Congress has an opportunity to make the Ryan White CARE Act an even more effective tool in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the United States,” added Puckrein.
The Ryan White CARE Act was enacted in 1990 to address the health needs of people living with HIV disease, especially those with low incomes and inadequate health insurance. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau administers the program, which funds primary health care and support services for eligible individuals. NMHMF plans to deliver the petition to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Source: U.S. Newswire, February 1, 2006