Ryan White. Real Lives. Meet Willie Mae J.

| March 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
The death rate among adults with an HIV diagnosis in Tennessee is almost 25 percent higher than the national average. The State of Tennessee is considering a form of Medicaid expansion, but has not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  As a result, an estimated 2,000 of the lowest-income people with HIV have been left out of coverage available in other states.  They must rely on Ryan White funding for crucial medical care and other supportive services. In 2011, an estimated 12,336 Tennessee residents received services through Ryan White.

Ryan-White-Red-on-whiteWillie Mae J.
Memphis, TN

My name is Willie Mae and the reason I’m writing you is to tell you of my concern about the Ryan White Program and why it is very important to me. I am HIV positive, a recovering addict, and don’t have much income. Through the Ryan White Program, I have been able to receive a lot of help—for instance, vision and dental help. I was able to get a free eye exam and also dental care. I got a tooth extraction and a tooth replacement, which was very important to me to help my health and my self-esteem. The Ryan White Program helps in a lot of areas that are very important to a person who doesn’t have anything.

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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