12.09.06

Burr Applauds Congress for Passing Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization

Legislation to go to President’s desk to be signed into law; North Carolina to receive more equitable funding for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Early this morning the House passed H.R. 6143, the Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization legislation. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday and now the bill will go to the President's desk to be signed into law.

"I am pleased my colleagues in Congress put aside their differences and voted to pass this important piece of legislation," Burr said. "North Carolina has a rising number of HIV/AIDS cases and this reauthorization ensures the money follows the patient so North Carolinians living with this disease can receive the assistance they need."

The bill will provide more equitable distribution of Ryan White CARE Act funds to states with elevated rates of new HIV/AIDS infections, including North Carolina. The Ryan White CARE Act was initiated in 1990 to provide treatment and care for individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS who are in the greatest need of assistance. The Reauthorization legislation would provide more equitable distribution of CARE Act funds to emerging HIV/AIDS populations. Currently, Southern states, which account for a majority of HIV/AIDS cases in the nation, are being shortchanged in CARE Act funding.

North Carolina has approximately 18,900 people living with HIV or AIDS. In 2004, 66.7% of people living with AIDS in North Carolina were African Americans, the 5th highest rate in the nation. North Carolina currently ranks 14th among states with the greatest number of AIDS cases in the nation.

This bill reauthorizes the Ryan White CARE Act for three years and Senator Burr looks forward to improving the program so North Carolinians living with HIV or AIDS will receive the best assistance possible through the CARE Act.

Senator Burr is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

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