Today, on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, WHP salutes the courage and resilience of women and girls living with HIV. Every day, we are inspired by their power to overcome stigma, to embrace one another in support and solidarity, and to lead us all towards self-acceptance, social justice, and real health and wellbeing.
Today, we also strongly encourage the President and Congress to reconsider the shocking decision last week to completely eliminate funding for the Ryan White Part D program. This highly successful program is the single part of the Congressional Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that, since 1994, has provided support for medical care, drug treatment and support services specifically to low-income women, girls, families and children. In a statement, WHP director Edward Machtinger said “I’m stunned by this short-sighted decision. Ryan White Part D has been the catalyst, and crucial source of funding, for coalitions of programs in cities throughout the United States to provide highly effective, cost-efficient care that addresses the unique needs of low-income women and girls living with HIV. It seems that the remarkable success of Part D–funded programs in preventing transmission of HIV to infants has led the government to abandon its simultaneous commitment to sustain the health of their mothers, and other adult women living with HIV, most of whom are low income women of color”.
WHP will be working to protect this crucial funding. Stay tuned for how you can help advocate for women and girls living with HIV.