LULAC Petition Demands Congress Provide Equal Access to Medicines for HIV/AIDS Patients

LULAC Petition Demands Congress Provide Equal Access to Medicines for HIV/AIDS Patients

Petition Urges Congress to Reform and Modernize the Ryan White CARE Act


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Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – US Newswire)–February 27, 2006–The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today announces the circulation of a petition urging the U.S. Congress to address the growing disparities in healthcare for Hispanics living with HIV/AIDS in the United States by supporting the prompt reauthorization and modernization of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act in 2006.

Hispanics now make up one-fifth of all people living with HIV/AIDS in America, and that number is rising.

HIV/AIDS increasingly affects those Hispanics living and working along the U.S. – Mexico border and in non-urban areas of the heartland where little or no health insurance and inadequate health care options are available to them. We believe reform begins with both Title’s I & II of the Ryan White CARE Act.

“We urge our members and supporters to send a clear message to Congress with this petition that it needs to alleviate the disparities in the CARE Act for HIV positive Hispanics living and working in the U.S.,” said Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus, LULAC Director of Policy and Legislation. “The Ryan White program must be improved so that all Hispanics can gain access to life sustaining treatment and healthcare.” The petition will be delivered to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Title I of the CARE Act restricts funding to metropolitan areas with populations over 500,000, with the majority of funding going to local HIV/AIDS organizations who provide care support services. This leaves out large areas of the country, outside large population centers where many Hispanics live and work.

Title II is designed to fund antiretroviral drug access for Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t have adequate insurance. Yet, many Hispanics now face waiting lists for antiretrovirals and enrollment caps for the state administered AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). For example, as of the end of 2005, Alabama had more than 450 patients waiting to access medicines while North Carolina, with a large migrant worker population had the longest waiting list in the country, with 529 patients.

To sign the petition, please visit LULAC’s website at: http://www.lulacaction.com/petition/

About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 600 LULAC councils nationwide.

LULAC Petition Demands Congress Provide Equal Access to Medicines for HIV/AIDS Patients