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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 30, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 39
Feds release $1.89 billion in HIV grants
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Feds release $1.89 billion in HIV grants

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on September 23 that it would release more than $1.89 billion to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to life-saving health care and medications.

The grants are funded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which provides funding for health services for people who lack sufficient health care coverage or financial resources to cope with HIV/AIDS.

'These grants will help make a real difference in the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, especially those in underserved rural and urban communities, ensuring they get access to quality health care and support systems,' HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

'The care and services these grants support will help Americans living with HIV/AIDS to live longer, healthier lives.'

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within HHS, oversees the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Some half a million individuals each year obtain clinical care, treatment, and social support services through Ryan White funding.

A total of $645 million was awarded to 52 cities to provide core medical and support services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS under Part A of the Ryan White Program.

These awards go to eligible cities with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS, and also to transitional grant areas experiencing increases in HIV/AIDS cases and emerging care needs.

The Part A awards include $49.6 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative to improve access to care in disproportionately impacted communities.

Seattle will get $6,870,026 in Part A grants.

Approximately $1.21 billion will be sent to states and territories under Part B of the Ryan White Program, with $813 million of that total designated for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).

Part B awards also include formula-based grants that can be used for home and community-based services, insurance continuation, ADAP assistance, and other direct services.

Sixteen states will also receive Emerging Community grants based on the number of AIDS cases over the most recent five-year period.

An additional $8,386,340 in Part B Supplemental grants was awarded to 36 states and territories that demonstrated need based on the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including service needs of emerging populations, unmet needs for core medical services, and unique service delivery challenges.

These grants provide supplemental funding to address specific needs, including projected ADAP shortfalls and additional core medical services.

Washington state is scheduled to receive $14,017,530 under this part of the HHS funding.

In addition, 30 Part B states and territories will receive $40 million in ADAP emergency relief funding to eliminate or reduce ADAP waiting lists and support cost-containment strategies to prevent implementation of a waiting list.

Ten states currently have ADAP waiting lists, ranging from over 4,000 people in Florida to nine people in Ohio. Washington state does not have people waiting for ADAP money, but will receive $660,158 to help prevent a waiting list.

At least 75% of Part A and B funds must be spent on 'core medical services,' which include outpatient HIV/AIDS primary medical care services, prescription drug assistance, health insurance assistance, and medical nutrition therapy.

The remaining 25% pays for support services that help people living with HIV/AIDS achieve desired medical outcomes. These services include respite care, medical transportation, and translation services for patients whose primary language in not English.

These funds also will support states and communities in their ongoing efforts to pursue the goals of the national HIV/AIDS strategy, particularly efforts to increase access to HIV care and reduce HIV-related health disparities.

'The Ryan White Program plays an important role in the fight against HIV/AIDS,' said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. 'These funds will help link those affected by HIV/AIDS to the continuous and coordinated quality care they need.'

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