Hastings recognizes the 25th Anniversary of the Ryan White CARE Act
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement marking the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Ryan White CARE Act:
“In observance of the 25th anniversary of the Ryan White CARE Act, we remember the program’s courageous young namesake and 25 years of federally funded HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and re-search programs. Ryan White was a young teen when he was infected with HIV after a blood transfusion he received to treat his hemophilia. Although Ryan passed away a few short years later, his memory lives on in the tremendous HIV/AIDS awareness advocacy efforts sparked by his courageous battle.
“The Ryan White Program fills gaps in health care coverage not covered by other funding sources, and provides resources for individuals living with HIV/AIDS who lack the financial resources to get the care they need.
“While great strides have been made in developing important HIV/AIDS drugs and implementing prevention initiatives, much work remains. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 1.2 million individuals in the United States are living with HIV. Nearly one in eight are unaware of their infection. It is critically important that we ensure that the Ryan White Program has the resources necessary to increase access to testing, while also continuing to treat and provide care to those in need, even in the face of budget shortfalls.
“As a Member of Congress, I will continue to do all that I can to address the needs of individuals and communities impacted by the HIV/AIDS virus, and to make certain that this vital program continues to receive Congressional support. On this important anniversary let us recognize the nameless health care workers, volunteers, com-munity leaders, advocates, and those individuals affected by HIV/AIDS for all that they do in the fight to create an AIDS-free generation.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior MemBer of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.