Sylvia M. Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has announced that the organization will give a generous contribution of $2.2 billion to the Ryan White Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Program for the fiscal year 2015-2016.
The treatment for this disease is one of the most expensive ones. Many programs just like the Ryan White CARE Act have tried to create awareness and give financial aid to HIV patients. This organization relies on donations to provide health care for patients.
HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell stated, “Over the last quarter century, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has played a critical role in the United States’ public health response to HIV. These grants will make a difference for the most vulnerable Americans who lack adequate health care coverage or financial resources to pay for treatment,” as reported by the HHS.
The donation of the HHS was made in order to guarantee high quality care and make sure treatment is available at the right time for the 500,000 patients who are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
The story of Ryan White has touched the heart of a many Americans. He became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS at the age of 13 when he was kicked out of his Indiana school in December of 1984 for being diagnosed with AIDS. Little was known about this dreaded disease during the 1980’s and because of ignorance and the social stigma of the disease during that time, school members feared that he could contaminate other students or the school staff.
Ryan contracted the disease during his hemophilia treatment. He received a blood transfusion that was contaminated with HIV. Surprisingly, he was able to defeat the doctors’ expectations by living for another six years, when he was given just six months. The injustice against White motivated his fight to address AIDS. Now 25 years have passed, the story still lives on and it has helped raise funds and awareness in the current fight against HIV/AIDS.
Medical professionals have been able to prove that Ryan White would not have been a threat to other students. Sadly, ignorance marked Ryan’s life by keeping him from being able to attend school. During the time, a massive lawsuit erupted around the situation.