"Without Ryan White, many of our patients would have to go without lifesaving medical treatments and care," says HIVMA Vice President Daniel Kuritzkes, MD. "When Ryan White was created in 1990, HIV infection was a death sentence for nearly everyone. Antiretroviral therapy has changed that, allowing many to live longer, productive lives. While there are patients who are still dying, most don't need help with end-of-life support. What they need are primary care and medicines."
Howard Grossman, MD, executive director for the Academy, adds, "Managing HIV infection is extremely complex. Many of our HIV patients also have health needs ranging from substance abuse and mental health conditions to HIV treatment complications and additional conditions like hepatitis C infection. This complexity is the reality of treating HIV infection today, and it's what Ryan White needs to address."
HIVMA and AAHIVM are calling for groups receiving Ryan White grants to devote at least 25 percent of the funding to primary medical care services like physician visits, medically necessary medications, and laboratory tests. An additional 25 percent should be earmarked for basic medical services like mental health, substance abuse, and prevention counseling.
To end wide state-to-state variations in access to anti-AIDS drugs, HIVMA and AAHIVM are also strongly recommending that the federal government establish a minimum formulary of essential drugs for people with HIV with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
The two organizations additionally recommend expansion of the AIDS Education and Training Center program to help train the next generation of HIV