Iowa Public Television


AIDS Dollars for Rural America Threatened

posted on September 29, 2006

A bill that would shift millions of dollars for AIDS care to rural areas is being held up in the Senate. The law originally passed in 1990, sends money to state and local programs for the neediest patients, but a rewrite that has passed both House and Senate committees would funnel more money to rural and southern states where AIDS is spreading.

One significant change in the bill is in how patients are counted. Current law only counts patients with full-blown AIDS. The revision also would count patients with the HIV virus. The change favors areas of the country where the disease is a newer phenomenon, which tends to be southern and rural states.

The objections threaten to stall passage of the $2.1 billion Ryan White CARE Act before Congress wraps up work this week, ahead of the November 7 mid-term elections.

Tags: AIDS diseases news rural