THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Jefferson City, Missouri) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release October 20, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today, I am very pleased to sign into law S. 2311, the "Ryan White CARE Act Amendments of 2000," which reauthorizes and expands health care and essential support services for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with HIV and AIDS.
The broad bipartisan support in the Congress for this bill sends a clear message that together we can continue to reach out to individuals and families living with HIV and AIDS. Since its creation, the Ryan White program has provided thousands of people with HIV care and support services in their communities, and access to cutting-edge therapies that would have remained beyond their reach. It has helped them stay out of the hospital and live healthier and better lives.
During my Administration, funding for the Ryan White CARE Act has increased by more than 300 percent, and funding for basic AIDS research and HIV prevention has increased by over 80 percent. Our strong commitment to addressing the HIV epidemic has begun to pay dividends. The latest data show that the number of Americans diagnosed with AIDS has declined for the first time in the history of the AIDS epidemic, deaths from the disease have declined by over 40 percent, and there has been a sharp decline in new AIDS cases in infants and children.
However, we know that our battle against AIDS is far from over. As we continue to search for a cure and a vaccine to protect every American, our support for programs like the CARE Act is essential. We owe a special thanks to Senators Kennedy, Jeffords and Frist and Representatives Waxman and Coburn, and to the many AIDS advocates and organizations, for their tireless efforts in guiding this bill to enactment.