Ryan White. Real Lives. Meet Jean B.

| February 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Florida ranks 2nd in the nation in deaths among adults with an HIV diagnosis. The State of Florida has not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  As a result, an estimated 16,500 of the lowest-income people with HIV have been left out of coverage available in other states.  They must rely on Ryan White for crucial medical care and supportive services.  In 2011, an estimated 53,337 Floridians received services through the Ryan White program.

Jean BJean B.
Gainesville, FL

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.

Read other stories of people impacted by the Ryan White Care Act.


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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.

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Category: Ryan White. Real Lives.

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