Future of Nation’s Largest HIV/AIDS Program


The Ryan White ACTION Campaign – a coalition of four national HIV/AIDS organizations – will join more than a dozen Middle Tennessee organizations in hosting a World AIDS Day "Town Hall Meeting" at 11:00 pm – 1:00 pm (CST) at the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville at 250 Venture Circle. The meeting will bring together area civic leaders, policymakers, persons with HIV/AIDS, health care practitioners and service providers to highlight the impact the Ryan White CARE Act has in the State of Tennessee. The Act, which expired on September 30th, is the major source of funding for care and treatment to HIV/AIDS patients who otherwise could not afford it.

On the same day as the Town Hall Meeting, the Comprehensive Care Center of Nashville will feature a display of 1,100 red-ribboned markers on the grounds of the United Way facility in memory of the 1,100 CCC patients who have died with HIV/AIDS since it opened in 1994.

World AIDS Day is a national day of awareness about e United States – including more than 12,000 in Tennessee – and the efforts of volunteers, providers and individuals living with HIV and AIDS to lead healthy and productive lives. This year’s theme is Stop AIDS-Keep the Promise, and the event will call for keeping the promise to Tenneseans living with HIV/AIDS – the promise of life-saving health care and supportive services The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency (CARE) Act was first signed into law in 1990, named after a young man whose struggle with HIV/AIDS helped put a public face on what was then an unknown disease. Since then, the CARE Act each year helps provide care and treatment for more than half a million uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS. In Tennessee, the dramatic retrenchment in TennCare has left hundreds of thousands of people without access to the state health plan for poor, disabled and elderly Tennesseans, including thousands of persons with HIV/AIDS. Many of the HIV/AIDS beneficiaries were eligible for TennCare as so-called "uninsurables." They now have officially joined the ranks of the uninsured. The state that previously administered one of the nation’s most generous Medicaid programs has become a barebones program leaving those who still qualify with limited access to prescription drugs and limits on physician visits and other services. Ryan White-funded Tennessee providers are now grappling to ensure that HIV/AIDS clients can continue to receive the care and services they need to survive and thrive. A reauthorized and adequately funded Ryan White CARE Act could hold the promise for additional resources to fill in the gaps left by the frayed safety net that TennCare has become. About the Ryan White ACTION Campaign
The Ryan White ACTION Campaign is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of the Ryan White CARE Act, which expired on September 30th, and why it needs to be reauthorized and adequately funded. Launched by a coalition of medical providers and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations, including The AIDS Institute, American Academy of HIV Medicine, HIV Medicine Association, and National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the campaign includes the involvement of a number of prominent advocates on HIV/AIDS, including Jeanne White-Ginder and former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

Participating Local Organizations:

  • Belmont University
  • Comprehensive Care Center of Nashville
  • First Response
  • Fisk University
  • Meharry Pre-Alumni Association
  • Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
  • Meharry-Vanderbilt Student Alliance
  • Nashville CARES
  • Planned Parenthood of East and Middle Tennessee
  • Stone’s River Clinic
  • Street Works
  • Tennessee State University
  • United Way of Metropolitan Nashville
  • Vanderbilt AIDS Center
  • Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center