U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statements after the Senate approved a reauthorization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act (RWCA).
"Those living with HIV and AIDS throughout Tennessee continue to receive critical care and support services,” Frist said. “By targeting increased funding to communities most affected by this disease – cities such as Nashville and Memphis – we’ve taken an important step to improve the legislation’s effectiveness. Senator Alexander and I have worked diligently together on this bill, and I look forward to the President signing this legislation soon.”
“The Ryan White CARE Act has played a critical role in providing essential care and support services to those living with HIV and AIDS in Tennessee,” Alexander said. “This reauthorization bill reflects the fact that the geography of HIV and AIDS is spreading, and states like Tennessee have higher incidences than we’ve had in the past. Senator Frist has been a leader in passing this legislation and I’ve been pleased to work with him.”
The bill ensures increased funding for communities across the state of Tennessee. Memphis alone will receive approximately $3.3 million next year, and Nashville will receive $2.3 million in 2007 under the legislation’s funding formula.
Frist has also played a key role in previous reauthorizations of RWCA. During the last reauthorization in 2000, Frist helped secure additional funding for Memphis and Nashville to assist these cities in responding to increased numbers of HIV/AIDS cases.
RWCA was enacted in 1990 to respond to the needs of individuals and families living with HIV or AIDS. In fiscal year 2006, over $2 billion in funding was provided through RWCA to assist states and metropolitan areas in providing health care services to AIDS patients. Funding is distributed according to a jurisdiction's reported count of AIDS cases.
Ryan White contracted HIV at age 13 through treatments to battle his hemophilia. Before his death in 1990, White earned worldwide recognition as an advocate for HIV/AIDS patients.