At popular demand, we've compiled the top 25 of the flash blog posts that readers have stated that they found to be the most impactful and have posted them here (in random order). However, please note that we are proud of ALL of the posts, and grateful for all of the contributors; they're ALL "the best" in our eyes. :)
1. Barbara, FL:
The Ryan White program saved me. I was a middle-aged, highly educated, middle-class, white woman who was a graduate student with limited health insurance and limited income. If it weren’t for Ryan White, I wouldn’t even have gotten tested. And the ADAP program gave me my life-saving antiretroviral therapy. I got into care and have been healthy and 100% adherent to my medications ever since my diagnosis. I work, I’m productive, I got my PhD. I have good support, but the Ryan White programs made it possible for me to live a normal life, with every hope that I will live into my old age.
I know that each Part of the Ryan White program has stories like mine, especially the Part D program, which expertly and efficiently provides care to women and youth.
DON’T CHANGE SOMETHING THAT WORKS SO WELL. The benefits relative to the cost of Part D are immeasurable!!
Ryan White Part D provides the critical social services and case management to our women, children, youth and families infected and affected by HIV. Without the Part D support, the medical care provided by myself and other health professionals would not be as successful in preventing HIV mother-to-child transmission and providing the successful care and treatment of our target populations. It is a fallacy to believe that when adult care providers control the funding that services provided to create a medical home for women, children and youth will continue.
3. Theresa from Texas:
Ryan Part D addresses the unique needs of children, adolescents and women with HIV. The RW staff supported by Part D addresses the needs of the identified patient/person with HIV and also the needs of the patient's families. As you may know, when you have a child born to a mother with HIV, the efforts of physicians, nurse, social workers and case managers must be provided to every unique family and their given situation.
The woman must have access to care and ARVs, the baby must have medication with the first hours of life and then for 6 weeks and is seen till the child is 18 months to ensure that the child is HIV NEG and has a healthy immune system and is developing normally. The RW staff provides essential education, follow-up, social services, support, assistance with transportation and referrals to testing sites for the mother's partner and to test older sibling, as appropriate and needed.
RW PART D is the only program that takes into account the entire family and provides family focused services, culturally and language sensitive services and ultimately help mother, children and adolescents with HIV overcome their daily struggles of living with HIV.Please do not cut the funding nor consolidate this program developed for these vulnerable populations across the USA. For many families, their social worker of case manager funded by RW Part D may be one of the few individuals who are aware of their diagnosis, medication and ongoing need for medical care.
Three decades into the HIV/AIDS epidemic we have found ourselves as a country at a yet another crossroads about whose needs are to be met and whose aren’t. Although the HIV/AIDS consumer base has changed greatly since the inception of Ryan White part D the need for specialized services have not.
There have been great medical strides made that have ensured that American babies are no longer born with HIV/AIDS and we celebrate that. However, the needs of families and children affected by HIV/AIDS are still very much so valid and unique.
As a woman living with AIDS and the daughter of a woman who succumbed to AIDS I am personally invested in doing my part to ensure that the millions of women, children and families infected and affected with HIV/AIDS know that their lives matter and that their needs are important.
It seems as though those entrusted to make fiscal decisions are shortsighted in seeing the major impact Ryan White Part D funds have in the vitality and quality of life of these special families. Child care, transportation and housing are essential aspects of attaining and maintaining stabilized care for many women and young people living HIV.
To extract these amenities is not only a disservice to the overall health of our nation but irresponsible in preventing the spread of HIV among high risk populations. It is my hope that our elected decision makers are thoroughly informed about the potential negative effects removing Part D will have on individuals, families, communities and subsequently the country at large.
Diagnosed: October 2002
In Loving Memory of Gladys D. Johnson
Date of Departure: January 26, 1995