$1.79 billion to help people living with HIV AIDS

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of $1.79 billion to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to life-saving health care and medications.

The grants are funded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which helps more than 529,000 individuals every year obtain the care and services they need to live longer, healthier lives.

“These grants will provide state-of-the-art treatment for people currently in care and critical services to newly diagnosed individuals who are being brought into care,” said Jeffrey S. Crowley, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. “The care and services these grants will support can help Americans living with HIV/AIDS to live longer, healthier lives.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within HHS, oversees the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which provides funding for health services for people who lack sufficient health care coverage or financial resources to cope with HIV disease.

More than $1.16 billion will be sent to States and Territories under Part B of the Ryan White program, with $780 million of that total earmarked for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Another $41 million in ADAP funds was distributed through competitive supplemental grants.

A total of $590 million will pay for primary care and support services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS under Part A of the Ryan White program. Part A awards are distributed to eligible metropolitan areas (EMAs) with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS and to transitional grant areas (TGAs) experiencing increases in HIV/AIDS cases and emerging care needs. The Part A awards do not include funds for the Minority AIDS Initiative; those funds will be awarded in August.

Close to $49 million will fund early intervention services that support medical, nutritional, psychosocial and other treatments for HIV-positive individuals. These grants, awarded under Part C of the program, go to community-based organizations such as health centers and nonprofit providers of primary health care for people living with HIV. Part C grants also may be used to hire case managers to help patients access care and remain in treatment. Additional Part C grants were awarded in January 2009; still more will be awarded this July.

Seventy-five percent of Part A, B and C funds must be spent on “core medical services,” which include outpatient health services, drug assistance, health insurance payments and medical nutrition therapy. The remaining 25 percent pays for support services that help people living with HIV/AIDS achieve desired medical outcomes. These services include respite care, medical transportation and linguistic services.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, USA

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