Thursday, March 27, 2014

Press release for our FLASHBLOG!!!!

March 27, 2014

Advocates to Protest Elimination of HIV Healthcare for Poor Women and Children: “No HIV+ Women and Children Left Behind”

Community advocates around the globe are astonished that the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget has eliminated Ryan White Part D, the only Ryan White program solely for US women, infants, children, youth, and families. With its array of family-centered services, Part D has been instrumental in retaining HIV+ individuals into care and aiding massive reduction of perinatal HIV transmission in the US; annually serving over 50,000 individuals in 40 states and 2 territories.

In hopes of convincing the President and Congress to reverse this decision, a global protest entitled #SaveRyanWhitePartD Flash Blog: “No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind, is planned on April 10, 2014 as an all day event.

The date of the protest is dually significant.  In addition to coinciding with National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), the numbers 4/10 represent the dollar amount of savings that was felt to be of greater value than the Part D program ($4 million), and the month that the elimination is slated to go into effect (the 2015 fiscal year begins in October – the 10th month of the year). 

The #SaveRyanWhitePartD: No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind” Flash Blog protest on NYHAAD will be hosted by the Save Ryan White Part D Initiative, a consortium of founding community organizations in Texas and Florida.  Save Ryan White Part D has mobilized the community with a petition that has obtained nearly 800 signatures and counting, a We the People petition, and a variety of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a public blog).

On NYHAAD, protestors from around the globe will participate in a peaceful Flash Blog protest, submitting hundreds of essays, poems, pictures, videos, and stories depicting the lives of the very communities that stand to lose the most if this vital funding is cut (and supporters).  A multi-media project entitled, “We Exist” will also be unveiled.  Additional protest events, such as rallies, prayer vigils, and a webinar, are being planned by consortium members.

We welcome more petition signatures as well as submissions for the Flash Blog!

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu,
Janet Kitchen,
Save Ryan White Part D Initiative Founding Agencies:


Council to End AIDS Southwest Holds Rally to #SaveRyanWhitePartD!!!

J. Raheem Harris and other Council to End AIDS Southwest (C2EA Southwest) members gathered today at a Consumer Council Committee Meeting Dallas, Texas for a rally to demonstrate against proposed funding cuts to the Ryan White Part D which impacts women, infants, children and youth living with HIV/AIDS!

Their next scheduled meeting will be Monday, April 14th @ 12 Noon Hickman Conference Room, 2nd Floor. Dallas County Health & Human Services Building 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX.

The Dreaded Budget cut...

It's nearly 500 pages, but reading certain sections of the HRSA budget(especially the Executive Summary, page 277, and pages 304-309 will provide a lot of food for thought about why the justifications given by HRSA for eliminating Ryan White Part D just won't "cut it."

Advocacy talking points from the Positive Women's Network!

The Positive Women's Network has created several GREAT talking points for anyone to use when discussing with others why it is crucial that we #SaveRyanWhitePartD!!

We urge you to use these points when talking and writing about the problem in your communities and with your elected officials:

Part D was already cut just two years ago; now we're being ELIMINATED?!?!

The President's budget states that eliminating Part D and consolidating it into Part C will save $4 million dollars.

They neglect to mention that just two years ago, the Part D program was already drastically cut!

It went from 700 sites in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories in 2012 to its current list of sites (fewer sites AND less funding)!

And yet they want to consolidate even further, when Part D has not recovered from the cuts that occurred in the 2013 Fiscal Year!

Our women, infants, teens, children, and families deserve better than this! We MUST #SaveRyanWhitePartD!!

Read more about the Fiscal year 2013 funding cuts that Part D already suffered in this fact sheet from the AIDS Alliance:

The Positive Women's Network says we are NOT disposable!!

The Positive Women's Network says we are NOT disposable!! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

The community is rising up to #SaveRyanWhitePartD!!!

The community is rising up! 

Last week community advocates in FL and DC visited their public officials to voice their displeasure over this. 

Policy leaders from the AIDS Alliance and the Positive Women's Network have been communicating with their contacts and strategizing at a national level. 

The Positive Women's Network has issued an advocacy kit and some great resources!

Community advisory board members in Houston met to brainstorm about how to support this initiative.

The Women's, Children, Infants, and Youth community advisory board in Tampa is hosting a meeting as well.

And all of YOU have been sharing and signing the petition. We now have over 700 signatures in just a week's time on our petition! Thank you!

Post to the page what you are doing, or ideas that you have to keep the momentum going!

Message us with questions and/or email us at

And don't forget to sign our We the People petition for this same issue as well!

What is a "flash blog," you ask???

This post seeks to clarify what is meant exactly by a "flash blog." (Thank you guys for asking!) 

A flash blog is a lot like a blogging version of a flash mob. Oxford dictionary defines a flash mob as "A large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the Internet or social media."

We've all seen those cute YouTube clips of people doing a cool choreographed dance in a public venue, etc. A flash blog does the same, but rather than being a "seemingly random" act, flash blogs are typically very purposeful.

Here is a link to the "This is Autism" flash blog that was organized in 2013:

#SaveRyanWhitePartD on 4/10!

April 10, 2014 is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day! We will be commemorating that day with an international FLASHBLOG! All throughout the day we will feature posts, videos, stories, etc to express why it is so important NOT to cut Ryan White Part D!

WE NEED your help! Whether you are HIV+, HIV affected, or neither, we need as MANY people as possible to share why this funding MUST be preserved.

IF YOU LIVE IN A STATE funded by Ryan White YOUR INVOLVEMENT is CRITICAL, especially if you are HIV+ or affected. But even if you are not, WE NEED YOU; please help us to #saveRyanWhitePartD!!!

Need more details about how to participate? Message the page and/or email us at

The Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition Opposes the Elimination of Part D!

The UCSF Women's HIV Program Opposes the Elimination of Part D!

The HIV community unites to #SaveRyanWhitePartD

Thank you for your support! In addition to the community, many great organizations are working on behalf of this issue too:

AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth, and Families; Positive Women's Network; Women's HIV Program; National Black Women's HIV/AIDS Network; Positively U; several Part D grantees, and others!

Together, we WILL #saveryanwhitepartd

Sign our petition!


Stop turning its back on HIV+ women, children, and families by eliminating Ryan White Part D!

As the Ryan White program has been a decades-long lifeline for PLWHA, especially Part D (serving women, infants, children, youth, and caregivers), the proposed elimination/"consolidation of Part D into Part C" is disturbing.
It is NOT acceptable to place HIV+ individuals and families on the "chopping block" to save a buck.
We request an IMMEDIATE revision of the portion of the 2015 fiscal year budget, demanding:
-retention of ALL currently funded Part D agencies (NOT just the 67% with dual C & D funding);
-assurance of a meaningful future existence for programs servicing Part D populations;
-adequate funding to address the needs of these vulnerable communities.
Our families that are living with HIV deserve nothing less!
Respectfully, Morénike
On behalf of the Part D community

Sign our We the People petition!

We LOVE, but don't forget to sign our other petition too (they're working hand in hand)! With enough signatures, it will be delivered directly into the hands of the President. Will you sign and share today?#SaveRyanWhitePartD

Announcing our 4/10 #SaveRyanWhitePartD Campaign!

04/10/2014 is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!#NYHAAD

It's also a GREAT day for a twitter bomb and a flash blog to help us #saveryanwhitepartd

Are you ready?!!!

No HIV+ woman or child left behind...

The AIDS Alliance reacts to proposed Ryan White Part D cuts!

The AIDS Alliance reacts to proposed Ryan White Part D cuts:


No Part D for HIV+ teens from one-income families, like Selah?

AIDS took her to the brink of and treatment brought her back. Should this Illinois teen from a working class family be denied services because consolidation is more "efficient?'

(Note: this link is for illustrative purposes only, not a disclosure of whether or not this youth is affiliated with any particular program)

No more Part D services for HIV+girls like Hydeia Broadbent?

#HydeiaBroadbent is an international HIV activist. Given a life expectancy of less than 5 years old, advances in medication have helped her grow up to be an amazing young woman. Please #saveryanwhitepartd so that other HIV+ girls and women can grow up, be healthy, and hopefully help others the way Hydeia is doing.

HIV+ children need targeted services!

Even small children face HIV stigma. They need targeted services. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

Cutting HIV+ women and children? Was the National HIV/AIDS Strategy just a big lie?

Was the National HIV/AIDS Strategy just a big lie?

Is the US Budget Aiming for the "Low-Hanging Fruit?"

How does consolidating the Ryan White Program serving the most vulnerable populations and with the LEAST amount of funding of all the Ryan White programs really save us any money? #saveryanwhitepartd

40 out of 50 US states receive Part D funds!

40 out of the 50 states in the US get Ryan White Part D funding! (And two US territories).
Is YOUR state on the list? #saveryanwhitepartd

1. Alabama
2. Arkansas
3. Arizona
4. California
5. Colorado
6. Connecticut
7. District Of Columbia
8. Delaware
9. Florida
21.North Carolina
23.New Hampshire
24.New Jersey
25.New Mexico
27.New York
32.Rhode Island
33.South Carolina
40.West Virginia

-Puerto Rico
-The US Virgin Islands

What's the big deal about being consolidated into Part C?"

What's the big deal about being consolidated into Part C?"

It seems a large part of the argument for eliminating the program is the fact that many areas (~2/3) are dually funded by Part C and D. So the argument is that there is duplication of administrative efforts, etc because of that. 

I believe that they are wrong. Part C funds Early Intervention Services (EIS). In theory, the EIS portion of Part C does seem to have similarities to Part D because it focuses on medical care: "The Part C Early Intervention Services (EIS) component of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds comprehensive primary health care in outpatient settings for people living with HIV disease."

However, how Part C's EIS is administered is variable in different areas; in our area, for example, we receive a decent amount of Part C funds, but the program is only housed in the county jail.

Part C also funds Capacity Development: "The Part C Capacity Development Grant Program assists public and nonprofit entities in efforts to strengthen their organizational infrastructure and their capacity to develop, enhance, or expand access to high-quality HIV primary health-care services for people living with HIV/AIDS or at risk of infection in underserved or rural communities. For the purposes of the grant program, capacity development refers to activities that promote organizational infrastructure development leading to the delivery or improvement of HIV primary care services."

That is very, very different from Part D. Part D funds the following, according to HRSA: "Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D grantees provide outpatient or ambulatory family-centered primary medical care (directly or through contracts or memoranda of understanding) for women, infants, children, and youth with HIV/AIDS. Part D funds (1) family-centered primary and specialty medical care and (2) support services."

And I would even argue that Part C EIS is extremely different. Just because there are cities they have both Part C and D funds doesn't mean the same agencies are offering the services; in most cases, they probably aren't. Part D's medical services are EXPLICITLY family centered. Part C's are not.

Why #SaveRyanWhitePartD?

For decades, the Ryan White program has been a lifeline to millions of individuals living with HIV in America through its provision of medical care, prescription drug assistance, and supplementary programs to support improved health and overall quality of life. 

While all components of the Ryan White program are of immense value, Part D has been of particular importance as it serves some of the most vulnerable populations living with and/or affected by HIV--women, infants, children, youth, teens, and their families/caregivers.

There are currently approximately 53,000 people served by over 100 Part D grantees across the country. That is why it is appalling that this vital program is being eliminated. The President's 2015 fiscal year budget proposes consolidating the entire Part D program into the Part C program!

Part of the rationale for eliminating Part D is that 67% of Part D funded agencies also receive Part C, so presumably by consolidating the programs administrative costs will be reduced and presumably there will be more funds available.

However, have been no guarantees made that ALL of the communities currently served by Ryan White Part D will survive this consolidation, only that they can "apply" to be a Part C grantee, with no promise that they will be selected.

This uncertainty puts innumerable families across the country at risk. Lip service has been paid to the importance of securing the health and stability of the vulnerable populations served by the Part D program, but that has been eclipsed by actions which indicate otherwise.

There is a community effort that is gaining momentum in an attempt to get HRSA and the US Department of Health and Human Services to reconsider this matter, involving a plethora of individuals, families, community advisory boards, policy advocates, and several prominent organizations that work on behalf of HIV+ and affected women, children, youth, and families.

Several organizations are working on behalf of this issue: the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth, and Families; Positive Women's Network; Women's HIV Program; Positively U; many Ryan White Part D grantees, and others.

How does Ryan White Part D work?

How does Ryan White Part D work? #saveryanwhitepartd

Why is Ryan White Part D important?

Why is Ryan White Part D important?

"Title IV (now Part D) played a leading role in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV—from as many as 2,000 babies born HIV positive in 1990 to roughly 200 cases in 2005."

What is Ryan White Part D?

What is Ryan White Part D?

Ryan White Part D funds "programs that provide family-centered primary medical care to women, infants, children, and youth (WICY) living with HIV/AIDS when payments for such services are unavailable from other sources. Funding is intended to improve access to primary HIV medical care for HIV-infected women, infants, children, and youth through the provision of coordinated, comprehensive, culturally and linguistically competent services.

Part D grantees are expected to provide HIV primary care, specialty medical care, and support services to the clients they serve. HIV primary medical care refers to outpatient or ambulatory care, including behavioral health, nutrition, and oral health services. Family-centered care refers to services that address the health care needs of the persons living with HIV in order to achieve optimal health outcomes. Specialty care refers to specialty HIV care and specialty medical care such as obstetrics and gynecology, hepatology, and neurology." -from