Over the past 15 years, the Ryan White Program has provided millions of people living with HIV and their families access to life-saving medications, health care and supportive services. Now, with a new Congress in place, advocates are stepping up efforts to maintain the Ryan White Care Act and couple it with expansion of Medicaid in every state, especially in the South, the region with the highest death rate among those living with HIV, where most states have not yet expanded Medicaid.
To help in that effort a coalition of organizations has joined forces to present Ryan White. Real Lives – Stories on the real impact of the Ryan White Care Act, told by people living with HIV, in their own words, about how Ryan White has affected their lives and their families.
AIDS United, Southern AIDS Strategy Initiative, Southern AIDS Coalition, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School, HIVHealthReform.org, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago kicked off the series with the story of Alicia Diggs, a mother of two who was diagnosed with HIV in 2001, speaking out about the importance of Ryan White for her and her family.
Readers are invited to contact the federal government to urge support and expansion of Ryan White, call on state governors and legislators to push Medicaid expansion in key states and share resources for general advocacy on Ryan White or for Medicaid non-expansion states.