Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the Ryan White Care Act, the largest federally funded program for people living with HIV/AIDS, but there are concerns that the funds may be fading as new problems are beginning to surface.
In the past, the legislation, which is now called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act, has resulted in San Francisco getting as much as $40 million . This year, that figure has dropped to just shy of $30 million. Click to Listen
Randy Allgaier, director of the San Francisco HIV Health Services Planning Council, which prioritizes and allocates the act’s funding for our area says part of the good news of people living long with HIV is that services are needed longer, too.
“The longevity adds a lot of pressure to the system of care because there are more and more people needing to access that, and at the moment there are about 20 thousand San Franciscan’s living with HIV/AIDS,” said Allgaier.
The council has to address new issues that come with an aging HIV population, which are often general aging issues that are exacerbated by the disease.
“We don’t know the long term effects for a lot of the drugs that people are on because quite frankly this is the first generation of people who have been on these drugs for a long period of time,” said Allgaier.
Money from the Act goes to everything from medical care to case management and psycho-social support.