Since 1990, the Ryan White Program has been a lifeline for people living with HIV and their families. The access to life-saving medications, health care and supportive services provided by Ryan White has transformed the health outcomes of many communities, including low-income un- and underinsured people living with HIV. Ryan White Program has also had a vital impact in public health and remains an important strategy to support prevention efforts.
With its long history of bipartisan support, the Ryan White Program represents the best of what Congress and our government can do. Even with passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Ryan White Program remains integral to addressing the health needs of people living with HIV and their families. This is particularly true in states that are not currently implementing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, where there may be few options to obtain needed care and medications.
Continuation of the Ryan White Care Act must be coupled with expansion of Medicaid in every U.S. state. This is particularly true for the U.S. South where most states have not yet expanded Medicaid. This region had the highest death rate among those living with HIV than in any other U.S. region.
Today, we find ourselves at a critical juncture – with a new Congress in place and a need to continue to advocate for a program where millions of Americans have benefited and millions more are in need of the additional insurance that Medicaid would provide. As a community-driven response, we’ve come together to present stories – told in their own words – about the real impact of the Ryan White Program upon the lives and families of people living with HIV across communities, particularly in Medicaid non-expansion states.
We invite you to read testimony on why the Ryan White Program is a key piece of the domestic HIV response with real personal and public health impact.