The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act is legislation that grants federal money to Nassau and Suffolk Counties to provide services for individuals and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Long Island continues to be the suburban area with the highest number of cumulative AIDS cases in the United States and it is very important that the programs and services established through funding from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act be supported. Just as important is having the participation of people who are infected or affected by the virus involved in the decision making process to make sure that services are designed to meet peoples' needs. The Act provides life saving services to Long Islanders living with HIV/AIDS.
The Ryan White CARE Act was funded by Congress in 1990 and the Act was reauthorized in 1996 and 2000. In 2006, the legislation changed to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act which has several sections called “Parts” and was extended by Congress in September 2009 to last through 2013. The primary focus of the original legislation was to provide care and treatment to communities most impacted by HIV and AIDS by funding primary health care and support services that enhance access to and retention in care. The newly enacted Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2009 provides the Federal HIV/AIDS programs in the Public Health Service (PHS) Act under Title XXVI 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 across this country.