10.20.09

Senate Passes Extension of Life-Saving HIV/AIDS Act

Legislation ensures funding goes to those with the greatest need

Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act. The bill will provide for more equitable distribution of Ryan White funding to the areas that are seeing an increase in their HIV/AIDS cases and will better ensure Ryan White funding follows the patients. In addition, new provisions to strengthen HIV testing to help improve early diagnosis are included in the bill.

"Thousands of North Carolinians living with HIV/AIDS receive treatment and care through the Ryan White program, and this extension ensures that they will continue to get the care they need," Senator Burr said. "I am pleased that my colleagues were able to work together to reach a bipartisan agreement to extend this life-saving program for another four years."

The Ryan White program was initiated in 1990 to provide treatment and care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS who are in the greatest need of assistance. The reauthorization legislation extends important policies enacted in the last Ryan White reauthorization that will ensure Ryan White funding is distributed more fairly and is accurately based on our nation's current HIV/AIDS epidemic. These policies were critical in North Carolina's ability to serve more patients in recent years. Currently, North Carolina has approximately 33,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This bill will guarantee North Carolinians living with HIV or AIDS will receive the treatment and care they need.

"It is my hope the House will act quickly to pass this important bill," Burr added. "Quick action will ensure that the North Carolinians served by this important program will have the peace of mind that services will continue."