Since 1990, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act has played a principal role in providing care and treatment for people affected by HIV/AIDS. More than 500,000 Americans depend on it to meet their needs for medical care, treatment, and support services. Through CARE Act services, we have drastically reduced HIV/AIDS-related illness and death, and nearly eliminated mother-to-child transmission in the United States.
In September 2005, the CARE Act will expire, and Congress is taking up the issue of reauthorizing, or renewing, this important legislation. The Administration and Congressional leaders of both parties have already begun this process, and we hope to see a speedy enactment in the coming months.
Recently, much needed attention in the public policy arena has been paid to the impact HIV/AIDS is having around the world. The document's title, Renewing the Commitment, is meant to remind us that in addition to the devastation wrought abroad, HIV/AIDS remains a crisis here at home, and that we still need a robust response from the federal government to help save lives, keep people healthier, and prevent new infections. This document offers principles on how the CARE Act should be reauthorized to best serve women, children, youth, and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Renewing the Commitment reflects the hard work of many individuals. Thanks to Dorothy Mann and the members of the Government Affairs Committee of the board for their efforts in developing our reauthorization principles, and reviewing and editing this document. Thanks also to the staff members who coordinated the writing, editing, and production of this paper: Mark Del Monte, Michael Stevens, Mary McGonigel, and Ann Checkley.
We hope this document informs the debate as Congress and the Administration take up CARE Act reauthorization. Women, children, youth, and families affected by HIV/AIDS depend upon their actions, and developing effective public policy is crucial to providing quality care and treatment to all who need it.
Ivy Turnbull, President
David C. Harvey, Executive Director