This post was written by Jeffrey S. Crowley, Distinguished Scholar and Program Director, NationalHIV/AIDS Initiative at the O’Neill Institute. Questions may be directed to Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an exciting and dynamic time in responding to the HIV epidemic. The United States continues to face a very serious epidemic, with 1.1 million Americans living with HIV and roughly 50,000 people who become newly inflected each year, yet recent developments have led many to conclude that we now have the tools to greatly reduce the scope of the epidemic. Leading policymakers have even begun talking about working toward an AIDS-free generation.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is the largest HIV-specific grant program for providing HIV care and services in the United States and it is the third largest source of federal funding for HIV care after Medicaid and Medicare. It exists to compliment and supplement the rest of the health system by providing HIV health services to uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV. Three specific developments have taken place that alter the environment in which the program operates and that create new opportunities for increasing access to and retention in quality HIV care in order to achieve broader population-level suppression of HIV:
With the program’s current authorization set to expire on September 30, 2013, discussions about how best to structure the program in this new environment, including the timing of any changes, have already begun. Earlier this week, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released a policy brief that I co-authored with Jen Kates, Vice President and Director, Global Health & HIV Policy for the Foundation entitled, Updating the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for a New Era: Key Issues and Questions for the Future. The brief may be accessed here.
Given Ryan White’s unique role in the HIV response, the program is likely to act as the fulcrum of efforts to help turn the vision of an AIDS-free generation into a reality in this country.
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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.