Continuing in his commitment to people living with the HIV/AIDS virus, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today announced $3.75 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to the City of Paterson. The funding will serve 1,358 individuals in Paterson, Passaic County and Bergen County living with HIV/AIDS -- helping to provide services including: medical, dental, mental health, case management, transportation, housing assistance, food, and legal services.
"New Jersey has the fifth-largest HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation, and Passaic County has the third-highest number of reported cases in the state," said Pascrell, a former Paterson mayor who served as chairman of the Paterson-Passaic-Bergen HIV Planning Council during the early years of the Ryan White Program. "In these difficult economic times, the needs simply grow larger. Individuals with HIV or AIDS who lose their job and health care coverage rely on the Ryan White program more than ever, and the state and cities need additional funds to cover the costs of important services."
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program works with cities, states and local community-based organizations to provide HIV-related services to more than a half a million people each year. The program is for those who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease.
The $3,755,785 to the City of Paterson comes from Part A of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which provides emergency assistance to eligible metropolitan areas and transitional grant areas that are most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13. He and his mother, Jeanne White Ginder, fought for his right to attend school, gaining international attention as a voice of reason about HIV/AIDS. Ryan White died at the age of 18 on April 8, 1990, just months before Congress passed the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act. The legislation has been reauthorized four times, most recently in 2009, and is now called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.