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Ryan White & Care Act History

From Wikipedia

Ryan White

Ryan Wayne White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990)[1] was an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States, after being expelled from middle school because of his infection. A hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed in December 1984, was given six months to live. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students, but AIDS was poorly understood at the time, and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance.[2] A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the case made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. He appeared frequently in the media with celebrities such as Elton John, Michael Jackson and Phil Donahue. Surprising his doctors, White lived five years longer than predicted and died in April 1990, one month prior to his high school graduation.

Before White, AIDS was a disease widely associated with the male gay community, because it was first diagnosed among gay men. That perception shifted as White and other prominent HIV-infected people, such as Magic Johnson, the Ray brothers and Kimberly Bergalis, appeared in the media to advocate for more AIDS research and public education to address the epidemic. The U.S. Congress passed a major piece of AIDS legislation, the Ryan White Care Act, shortly after White's death. The Act was reauthorized in 2006 and again on October 30, 2009; Ryan White Programs are the largest provider of services for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.

Ryan White Care Act

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act (Ryan White Care Act, Ryan White, Pub.L. 101-381, 104 Stat. 576, enacted August 18, 1990) was an Act of the U.S. Congress named in honor of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS through a tainted hemophilia treatment in 1984, and was expelled from school because of the disease. White became a well-known advocate for AIDS research and awareness, until his death on April 8, 1990.[2]

The act is the United States's largest federally funded program for people living with HIV/AIDS. The act sought funding to improve availability of care for low-income, uninsured and under-insured victims of AIDS and their families.[3]

Unlike Medicare or Medicaid, Ryan White programs are "payer of last resort", which fund treatment when no other resources are available. As AIDS has spread, the funding of the program has increased. In 1991, the first year funds were appropriated, around US$220 million were spent; by the early 2000s, this number had almost increased 10-fold. The Ryan White Care Act was reauthorized in 1996, 2000 and 2006. The program provides some level of care for around 500,000 people a year and, in 2004, provided funds to 2,567 organizations. The Ryan White programs also fund local and State primary medical care providers, support services, healthcare provider training programs, and provide technical assistance to such organizations.[3]

In fiscal year 2005, federal funding for the Ryan White Care Act was $2.1 billion. As of 2005, roughly one third of this money went to the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) which provides drugs for 30 percent of HIV-infected patients.[4] The primary activity of ADAP is providing FDA-approved prescription medication.[5]

The Ryan White CARE Act mandates that EMS personnel can find out whether they were exposed to life threatening diseases while providing care. The clauses protecting emergency personnel were removed by congressional staffers in a renewal of the bill. The reason for the removal is unclear; some allege the staffers removed the clauses protecting emergency personnel because they did not understand why they were in the original Ryan White act.[6]

1. "A Timeline of Key Events in Ryan's Life". Ryanwhite.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12.  Retrieved 2009-12-02.
2. Johnson, Dirk (April 9, 1990). "Ryan White Dies of AIDS at 18; His Struggle Helped Pierce Myths". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 14, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
3. "The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program". Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.  Retrieved 2007-09-11.
4. AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) - Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Fact Sheet
5. Jessamy Taylor (2005-08-22). Caring for "Ryan White": The Fundamentals of HIV/AIDS Treatment Policy. The George Washington University. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
6. Bryan Bledsoe (March 2008). "Ryan White Notification Law Repealed".  Retrieved 2008-04-11. [dead link]