As people living with HIV/AIDS often struggle to find ways to navigate the changing healthcare terrain, one organization is taking proactive steps to offer solutions.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is hosting a community style Town Hall on April 20 at its Fort Lauderdale offices. The Town Hall beings at 7 p.m. and is designed to address questions related to insurance coverage and government programs relating to HIV/AIDS care.

Jason King, AHF’s Governmental Affairs Manager for the Southern Bureau, said there is an urgent need to reform the federal government’s Ryan White programs.

“HIV continues to ravage the gay and transgender communities in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties,” King said. “Ryan White is essential to curbing infections in South Florida, but is antiquated and needs to be reformed.”

First authorized in 1990, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB). It was funded at $2.32 billion during fiscal year 2014 and the U.S. Congress is currently deciding at what level to appropriate money for future years.

In a speech last week at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23) answered questions about Ryan White funding.

“I have always been not just a vote but a voice for Ryan White funding,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I sit on the appropriations committee, one of the 13 ranking members on our side. I basically quarterback our appropriations policy for the Democrats to focus on what’s going to go in the budget.”

Monday’s AHF Town Hall, which will address concerns with Ryan White, ADAP, AICP and ObamaCare, will be held at 700 SE Third Avenue, First Floor, in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, call (954) 610-3064.

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