Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced nearly $80 million in grants to increase access to HIV/AIDS care across the United States. The funding will ensure that low-income people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to life-saving health care and medications. 

“The entire Administration is dedicated to fulfilling President Obama’s goal of an AIDS free generation and today’s announcement is one more step in that ongoing effort,” Secretary Sebelius said. “These grants will help make a real difference in the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, especially those in underserved communities.”

Approximately $69 million will be sent to 25 states and territories through the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and based on estimates provided by the states, will eliminate any waiting lists.

The more than $10 million remaining will be distributed to Ryan White community-based health clinics nationwide to expand access to 14,000 new patients for essential medical and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. A portion of this funding was made available through the Affordable Care Act.

These funds will also 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. After these awards are made, an additional $6 million in supplemental funding will be made available this year to states that demonstrate ongoing need.

“With these funds, we’re putting the National HIV/AIDS Strategy into action,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., RN. “These investments allow us to further improve access to lifesaving drugs, and increase access to HIV care and treatment for Americans living with HIV.”

The grants are funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency within HHS, through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Bureau of Primary Health Care. 

A list of grantees and awards is available at: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2012tables/120724hiv/

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit: www.healthcare.gov.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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