Statement by the President: "Ryan White Care Act Amendments of 2000" (10/20/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Jefferson City, Missouri)

For Immediate Release                                          October 20,

                        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.


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