10.20.09

HIV/AIDS Act Will Save Lives Senate Action Gives Ryan White Momentum, Enzi Says

Washington, D.C. – The bipartisan Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of2009, approved unanimously today by the U.S. Senate, will save lives by ensuring thatpeople with HIV/AIDS across the country can get the treatment they need, Senator Mike Enzi(R-Wyo.) announced.

“Millions of Americans living with HIV/AIDS rely on the Ryan White program to get thetreatment they need. Passing this bill will ensure that we can continue to provide access tolife-saving treatment and care across the country,” said Enzi, Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

“This bill ensures that federal funds will be spent effectively and will be distributed toareas that need help the most. We are determined to fight the epidemic of today, notyesterday, which means redirecting funds to areas of the country with rising numbers ofpeople living with HIV/AIDS. We have to make sure that the money follows the patients.”

The bill approved today updates funding formulas and requires accurate and reliabledata reporting. It encourages aggressive testing strategies and establishes a nationalHIV/AIDS testing goal of 5 million tests per year.

Enzi noted a recent Washington Post investigation that revealed troublinginadequacies in Washington, DC’s HIV/AIDS treatment programs, as well as widespreadwaste and fraud.

“It is clear we have more work to do on the way funds are distributed when HIV/AIDSrates are ten times the national average in Washington, DC and federal treatment dollars arevanishing in the shadow of the nation’s capitol. It is my hope that the House will quickly passthis bill to prevent any disruptions in the Ryan White Program,” said Enzi.

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