"People in the United States seem to have grown complacent and forgotten that HIV/AIDS is not just a problem overseas, but one here in our own nation. With as many as 1.1 million people in our country living with HIV/AIDS, our government, through passing a new Ryan White CARE Act, must ensure that lifesaving drugs, medical care, and social services are provided to those in need, wherever they live."
"Continued flat funding for CARE Act programs will do little to help eliminate current waiting lists, and nothing to extend care and treatment to people who aren't even on those lists. Instead, it will only serve to pit city against city and state against state for the limited dollars available. A person's ability to receive treatment should not depend upon where in the country they live."
"The Ryan White CARE Act works -- that is why it must be reauthorized. In the devastation following Hurricane Katrina, one of the only bright notes was that the Ryan White/ADAP system in states across the country went into high gear to assure that poor patients could access their life-saving medications. The CARE Act and the systems it has created serve as a model for all medical care in the U.S."
"Ryan taught us that AIDS can strike anyone, anywhere. As we work together to renew the Ryan White CARE Act, I urge the Congress and the Administration to provide adequate funding so that everyone who is in need of these lifesaving medications and medical care, can have the chance to live productive, healthy and longer lives."
"With as many as 1.1 million people in the U.S. living today with HIV/AIDS, and nearly 3 out of 4 of them uninsured or relying on public assistance, the CARE Act for them is a matter of life or death. This media campaign will remind Americans that HIV/AIDS exists in everyone's neighborhood and that despite the success of the Ryan White program, not all Americans have access to lifesaving care and treatment."
"The Ryan White CARE Act has a proven track record of success in providing lifesaving drugs as well as a full range of medical care and support services. The CARE Act is keeping people alive much longer than ever before. It has had strong bipartisan support from Congressional leaders over the years. We expect the same this year -- swift passage of reauthorization legislation this fall."
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Let your Congressperson know how important you think it is to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act. Copy and paste this message now and then click here to look up your representative's name and e-mail address. You can also mail this letter to your Congressperson. Click here to print a copy of this letter.
I urge you to co-sponsor a bill to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act. The Act expires on September 30, 2005 and while CARE Act programs will continue to be funded at current levels pending further Congressional action, I am concerned that further delay will cause additional problems for a healthcare system already straining to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Ryan White CARE Act is a true success story, each year providing funding to help states and cities deliver lifesaving care and treatment to half a million people in the U.S. with HIV/AIDS and their families who are poor, uninsured or underinsured. Even so, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about half of the 1.1 million Americans infected with HIV/AIDS do not get adequate care. This is reflected by the fact that nine states have established waiting lists for patients who need help buying prescription drugs to fight the virus. Meanwhile, temporary additional funding granted by the Administration to help provide drugs through the ADAP program also expires on September 30, 2005.
I would also urge you to consider ways to expand and strengthen the programs administered under the CARE Act. The nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has changed in recent years. More AIDS patients are living longer and require additional care, while 40,000 new infections occur each year. New infections are also more likely to involve the poor, members of a minority population, or uninsured individuals. And, while urban areas still have the highest concentration of HIV/AIDS patients, the virus is spreading rapidly into rural areas, particularly in the South.
Congress must move quickly to approve a Ryan White CARE Act that recognizes these changes and the threat that the epidemic still poses to America.