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The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (“Ryan White”) is the largest federal program that provides care to people living with HIV. The purpose of the Ryan White program is to provide care and treatment services to people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.

First authorized in 1990 as the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the program provides both primary care and essential support services to HIV-positive individuals by working with cities, states, and community-based organizations. Ryan White estimates its services reach approximately 52% of all individuals diagnosed with HIV living in the United States. The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Funding from Ryan White primarily goes to supporting primary care and essential support services, but it also supports technical assistance, clinical training, the development of innovative models of care, as well as access to HIV medication.

Ryan White provides a significant portion of funding for many rural programs, including community organizations and health departments. All states and territories receive funds through Part B (Grants to States & Territories). In addition, supplementary Part B grants and Part C (Early Intervention Services and Capacity Development) grants are frequently awarded to rural states and communities. However, other parts of the program can also provide meaningful support for people living with HIV in rural areas. The Ryan White program includes:

Part A: Grants to Emerging Metropolitan & Transitional Grant Areas

Part A provides grant funding for medical and support services to population centers and some surrounding rural areas most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These funds can be used to provide a variety of services, some of which include:

  • Drug assistance programs
  • Dental programs
  • Cost-sharing and health insurance assistance
  • Mental health services, including substance abuse care
  • Case management
  • Support services (including medical transportation, translation services, respite care for caregivers, and healthcare referrals).

Part B: Grants to States & Territories
Part B provides grant funding to states and territories to improve the quality, availability, and organization of HIV healthcare and support services, as well as grant funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). ADAP funds can be used to buy health insurance for eligible patients and for activities that enhance access to, adherence to, and monitoring of HIV treatments.

Part C: Early Intervention Services and Capacity Development Grants
Early intervention service grants provide funding to local community-based organizations to support their provision of Early Intervention Services, core medical services, support services, quality management, and administration. Capacity development grants provide funding to support the infrastructure of public and nonprofit organizations and improve their ability to develop, enhance, or expand access to high-quality HIV primary care services for HIV-positive people in rural or underserved communities.

Part D: Services for Women, Infants, Children, and Youth
Part D provides funding to private or nonprofit entities that provide primary medical care for HIV-positive women, infants, children, and youth. Funding supports provision of family-centered primary and specialty medical care as well as support services.

Part F: Other Research, Technical Assistance, and Access-to-Care Programs
Part F provides funding to four different sub-programs, which include:

  • Special Projects of National Significance
    Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) provide funding to support innovative models of HIV treatment that address the needs of people with HIV who are served by Ryan White grantees.
  • AIDS Education and Training Centers
    AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) include 11 regional centers that provide education and training for health providers that treat people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Dental Programs
    Though funds from all Ryan White grants can be used to fund oral health services, two programs focus solely on dental health the Dental Reimbursement Program and the Community-Based Dental Partnership Program. These programs fund both oral health services for HIV-positive people and education and training for oral health providers.
  • Minority AIDS Initiative
    The Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI), which exists under each part of Ryan White, addresses the needs of African Americans and other communities disproportionally impacted by HIV/AIDS. Collectively, MAI funds are used to improve access and reduce disparities in HIV/AIDS health outcomes, conduct outreach and education services for minorities, provide technical assistance to organizations looking to expand access for minorities, and provide training to minority providers in underserved communities.