Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Mr. Waxman and Mr. Barton, Mr. Deal and Mr. Pallone, our Chair of the Subcommittee. This is tough work.
I rise to express my deep support for the reauthorization of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program; a debt of thanks to Chairman Pallone for your outstanding work in New Jersey.
For nearly two decades now, the Ryan White program has made it possible for individuals living with HIV/AIDS to access life-saving services. In the program's early years, I served as the chairman of the Paterson-Passaic-Bergen HIV Planning Council, and I saw firsthand how the Ryan White program reduces health disparities and improves and extends the lives of thousands. Families have been held together because of Ryan White legislation. I see that firsthand day after day.
New Jersey has the fifth largest HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Nation. In my hometown, we have over 1,700 individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Even after 20 years of progress, these sobering facts are a reminder that we still have work to do.
I urge my colleagues to join with me in passing this legislation to extend and provide additional much-needed funding for the vital services provided by the Ryan White program.