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Ryan White 2016: "An Ordinary Miracle"

September 1, 2016


HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell addressed an audience of 2,400 grantees, clinicians, family members and advocates on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the first national Ryan White HIV/AIDS conference in four years. "The forward momentum we have," she said, "is the direct result of you pushing us all ahead in towns and cities across the country -- one patient and one family at a time."​​​​​​​​​

"The success of the Ryan White Program speaks for itself. Clinics funded by the program retain more than 8 out of 10 patients in their care, and just as many have achieved viral suppression – keeping them healthy and making them less likely to spread HIV. More than half a million Americans are living on the care and treatment you provide today. That's real success, and that's real progress, and it's why President Obama has called the Ryan White program 'a cornerstone of our strategy to address HIV across America.'" --​HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Washington, D.C.


Honored guest: HIV/AIDS Bureau Deputy Associate Administrator ​Heather Hauck (left) and Jeanne White-Ginder. One week before Christmas in 1984, White-Ginder learned that her son Ryan, a hemophiliac, had contracted AIDS from a tainted blood product. The case of the Indiana teenager -- ostracized from his school, forced to move out of his hometown -- made worldwide news and led to passage of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources  mergency (CARE) Act in 1990. Today, the HRSA-administered program affords health care and life-sustaining medications to almost half of the 1.2 million Americans living with the once-deadly virus.   


HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae

"We are closer than we have ever been to realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation … this was an act that was historic, because it established a set of programs that not only saved lives, but has improved the quality of life for millions of people across this country living with HIV." --HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae.


Amy Lansky, Dir., White House Office of National AIDS Policy

"The goals of the (2010) National HIV/AIDS Strategy ... remain for us to focus on reducing new HIV infections; improving access to care and health outcomes; reducing HIV-related disparities; and achieving a more coordinated, national response." --Amy Lansky, Dir., White House Office of National AIDS Policy, describing the four-prong approach to achieving the first comprehensive national strategy.


Dr. Laura Cheever, HAB Associate Administrator

"I really feel, and I think that all of you have sensed it, that we have a huge opportunity right now to end the AIDS epidemic." --Dr. Laura Cheever, HAB Associate Administrator (read more at AIDS.Gov​).


Help where it's needed most: HAB's Division of Community HIV/AIDS Programs
includes (from left) Cypriana Fowell; LCDR Tanya Grandison; LCDR Kimberly Hawkins; Lillian Bell; Angela Smith; and Karen Gooden.​


Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dir., ​National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

"AIDS goes into the short list of completely destructive epidemics that our civilization has experienced – right in line with the Bubonic Plague and the Pandemic Influenza of 1918. So we have an enormous challenge in front of us ... over 675,000 people have died​ ... what’s happened over 35 years is almost unprecedented in science. We have had advances that are nothing short of breathtaking.​" --​Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dir., ​National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noting that the U.S. now has "in hand" the screening, medications, care facilities, providers and PreExposure Prophylaxis​ (PrEP) to "truly end the HIV/AIDS pandemic as we know it​."


HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell

"For Ryan White, for the millions of Americans who have gone through life fighting illnesses as complex as HIV and AIDS, an ordinary life seems extraordinary. Normal can sometimes seem like a miracle. But because of you, and the Ryan White program, it's possible. Thank you for making miracles happen every day." --Secretary Burwell, closing statement (read the complete text of Secretary Burwell's speech).

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2017