HIV/AIDS: S.F. Health Director Urges Reauthorization of CARE Act
San Francisco and other California communities "could not begin to meet the needs of people living with HIV without the resources provided" by the Ryan White CARE Act, Dr. Mitchell Katz, director of health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health writes today in the San Francisco Chronicle. Citing the CARE Act as the "primary resource to help local jurisdictions hardest hit by this pandemic develop and deliver essential medical care and support services to low-income, uninsured or underinsured people infected with HIV," Katz urged Congress to promptly reauthorize the measure, which expires on September 30. Thanks largely to the $35 million in CARE funds received by the San Francisco metropolitan area, the community has been able to create a "model standard of care for people with HIV/AIDS that has been widely emulated around the country," Katz said, adding that it is also "important to note that CARE dollars pay for purchasing the medications that have increased survival of those with HIV." In addition, Katz maintained that CARE Act funds help "improve access to medical care among minorities" and serve to help HIV/AIDS patients secure emergency housing. Katz wrote, "It is frightening to imagine how that number [of people with HIV/AIDS waiting for affordable housing] would grow if CARE Act funding is not reauthorized." He concluded, "It is imperative that Congress acts quickly to ensure reauthorization of this legislation that continues to extend and save lives. Far too many lives are at stake for our nation to do otherwise" (3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.