Murphy, Demings, Soto Announce $3.5 Million Federal Grant to Fight HIV in Orange County
ORLANDO—U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Darren Soto today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding Orange County more than $3.5 million to help ensure that residents living with HIV/AIDS can access medical care and critical support services. The grant was awarded through HHS’s Ryan White HIV Emergency Relief Program, which provides direct financial assistance to communities that have been most severely affected by the HIV epidemic.
“Despite making major progress in the last few decades, Central Florida’s case rate for new HIV infections remains the third highest in the country,” said Murphy. “While our local medical professionals are doing incredible work to fight this epidemic, more funding is needed for treatments and support services. I’m pleased to see Orange County get the funding they need to help individuals with HIV/AIDS access the high-quality and affordable care they deserve.”
“I am excited to join my colleagues to announce that we have yet again secured a critical federal grant to ensure that our HIV-positive neighbors and loved ones here in Central Florida will have access to modern, effective treatments,” said Demings. “As we work to end AIDS in America, this is an important step to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of all people. I look forward to continue working with local advocates and community organizations to ensure access to affordable health care for every member of our community.”
“I am pleased to see that Orange County will be receiving a $3,505,257 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Central Florida,” said Soto. “These funds will allow the county to provide optimal care to underserved members of our community and maximize their health outcomes.”
The latest figures from the CDC show that in the past year, there were over 3,000 new cases of HIV in Florida. According to reports, the Orlando metro area is among the top three cities in the country for new cases of HIV.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured. The Ryan White program works with cities, states, and local community-based organizations to provide care and treatment services to more than half a million people each year. The program reaches approximately 52 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV in the United States.