On October 30, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill extending the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, reauthorizing for another four years the critical programs that have helped provide care for more than half a million low-income people living with HIV and AIDS. Second, he announced the final regulation reversing our nation’s prohibition on HIV-positive people entering the country for travel or immigration. The repeal will take effect on Jan. 4, 2010.
“We thank the president for taking these tremendous steps today on behalf of people with HIV and AIDS,” said Human Rights Campaign president, Joe Solmonese. “Today’s actions signal both to Americans and to the world that the United States is a nation that will care for those most in need at home and will no longer close the door to HIV-positive people abroad.”
For nearly 20 years, the Ryan White CARE Act has served those most in need, acting as a payer of last resort in the gaps left by Medicaid, Medicare, and other public health insurance programs. This legislation has been a tremendous success, with more than half a million people having been served by CARE Act programs to date. – by Nancy Ford