Hudson County Executive Robert C. Janiszewski said the Hudson County AIDS Network of Care, a conglomeration of different AIDS groups in the county, will receive $800,000 in Ryan White Funds and an award from the Congressional Black Caucus.
The original Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, named for an Indiana teenager who succumbed to AIDS in 1990, was designed to provide comprehensive resources and services to individuals infected with the HIV and those living with AIDS and their families.
Over the last 10 years, the Ryan White CARE Act has supported the development of comprehensive networks of care and supportive services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families throughout the nation. The CARE Act represents the largest authorization of federal funds specifically designated to provide health and social services to people living HIV. CARE Act funds are used to develop care systems, and to provide prescription drugs, social and support services and a range of other HIV-related health services. Because of the program, the quality of life for many people with HIV/AIDS has dramatically improved, including people of color.
The original $5.5 million grant for Hudson County was given in May. With this additional money, the county now has acquired over $6.3 million for this year. The money will go towards drug treatment, food vouchers, nutritional therapy, home meal deliveries, alternate medical therapies and special outreach programs to minorities.
Among the Hudson County groups expected to receive funding from the money are St. Mary Hospital in Hoboken, FAITH services (an AIDS group affiliated with the hospital) and the hospital's Community Mental Health Center and Family Practice Center.
"These organizations are making a serious commitment to our community and I applaud them for their efforts," said Janiszewski at a ceremony in Hoboken on Nov. 2. "With new medical treatments, early diagnosis and education campaigns, persons living with HIV/AIDS are now living longer, healthier lives. While the number of cases in Hudson Count has increased, the number of deaths has gone down, proving new methods are effective in extending the life expectancy of persons living with this horrible disease."
The AIDS epidemic in Hudson County is growing at the rate of 78 percent annually, with 2,238 documented AIDS cases and 6,100 HIV-carriers. The metropolitan area of Jersey City saw a dramatic increase in the number of AIDS cases between 1990 and 1997, making it the second highest AIDS rate in the nation. Women and youths, especially minorities, are experiencing the greatest rates of increase in AIDS cases.