In a previous Policy Brief, published in the spring of 2014, The Women’s Collective commented on the President’s proposal to condense Ryan White Part D funding into Part C in the budget for the 2015 fiscal year. Ryan White Part D provides medical care and support services to women, infants, children and youth, while Part C provides comprehensive primary health care to people living with HIV/AIDS, without a focus on a specific group. We argued that there is some merit to this proposal, as Part D funding has been especially competitive and the number of children being born with HIV is declining. However, we also voiced serious concern about this proposal, as it is signifies the underrepresentation of women and families effected by HIV. Women and families effected by HIV should not be forgotten in HIV services, funding, and advocacy—they have unique needs that go beyond quality health care and treatment.
With these concerns in mind, we are pleased that the spending plan released by Congress on December 9, 2014 did not enact the President’s proposal, that would have eliminated Ryan White Part D. While Ryan White Part D will not be collapsed into Part C for the 2015 fiscal year, we must continue to work to ensure that HIV’s effect on women and families is recognized and addressed.