When I was diagnosed with HIV, I was overwhelmed. I live in a rural area where the stigma meant I was going to have to find a provider outside of my community for my safety. I didn’t know where to start. I can tell you that the case management aspect of the program has played a huge role in my health. The Ryan White case manager was there to guide me through the paperwork and the healthcare and Medicaid systems so I’d get the care I needed with a provider outside my rural county.
I drive nearly 120 miles round trip to get to my doctor’s appointments. The gas cards provided to me through the Ryan White program have helped tremendously, reducing the financial struggle for my husband and me.
Since being diagnosed and in Ryan White care, I have had access to critical immunizations that until recently
were not covered through Medicaid. These immunizations reduce my chances of hospitalization or other complications due to my positive status.
I can’t imagine what sort of services would fall through the cracks if the Ryan White program were to no longer exist. Losing access to dental and mental health services for positive individuals would be dire. I know that many of my peers depend on these services as part of their holistic care. Ryan White services are critical to my health, and to the health of thousands of other people living with HIV in the state of Florida.
Take action now!
- Tell your legislators to continue to support the Ryan White program.
- Do you live in a state that has not expanded Medicaid? Let your legislators know how important Medicaid expansion is to your state.
- Check out advocacy tools and resources for Ryan White in Florida.
Co-sponsors: AIDS United, Southern AIDS Strategy Initiative, Southern AIDS Coalition, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School, HIVHealthReform.org, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
This campaign has been made possible by the generous support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Category: Ryan White. Real Lives.