Ryan White Care Act 

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-381) provides funding to states and other public or private nonprofit entities. The funding is to develop, organize, coordinate, and operate more effective and cost-efficient systems for the delivery of essential health care and support services to medically underserved individuals and families affected by HIV. The HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the largest single source, next to the Medicaid and Medicare programs, of federal funding for HIV/AIDS care for low-income, un- and underinsured individuals.

The legislation is called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-87, October 30, 2009). The legislation was first enacted in 1990 as the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act. It has been amended and reauthorized four times: in 1996, 2000, 2006, and 2009. The Ryan White legislation has been adjusted with each reauthorization to accommodate new and emerging needs, such as an increased emphasis on funding of core medical services and changes in funding formulas.

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 is the most recent federal legislation impacting the program. It provides Arkansas with additional funding and flexibility to respond effectively to the changing epidemic. The new law changes how Ryan White funds can be used, with an emphasis on providing life-saving and life-extending services for people living with HIV/AIDS. The key change affecting Arkansas’ Ryan White Program is that at least 75% of the grant funds must be spent on "core medical services." Core medical services include:

  • HIV-related medications through the Arkansas Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
  • Laboratory Services
  • Oral Health Care
  • Primary Medical Care

The Arkansas Ryan White Part B CARE Program is funded by an annual federal grant. Its goal is to assist low-income, HIV infected individuals with the cost of specific health care needs. Benefits of the program are determined by federal guidelines and a state advisory council made up of representatives from health care, those with HIV disease, support groups, and state agencies. The Arkansas Department of Health, HIV/STD/Hepatitis C Section administers the program.

Arkansas receives funding from Part B of the Ryan White CARE Act. Funds are utilized to provide economic assistance for HOPWA rent, utilities, transportation, health insurance, food, and nutritional supplements to individuals infected with HIV disease. These services allow individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance to access needed services.

The annual federal grant also funds AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). ADAP provides medications to low-income individuals who are infected with HIV disease. Qualified individuals have limited or no coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance that may provide access to medications for the treatment of HIV disease. As of August 3, 2010, Arkansas’ ADAP Formulary included 101 medications including all medications currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of HIV disease. In addition to federal funding, HIV Services acts as the ADAP provider for the state. Qualified individuals statewide receive medications through an ADAP-approved pharmacy, which offers walk-ins and mail orders.

For more information about Ryan White Program services (including ADAP), eligibility criteria, and how to apply, contact the district office that serves the county where you reside.