House Extends Act That Governs Funding for AIDS

Associated Press

The House on Monday extended through 2000 the Ryan White Act, the federal government's main source of funding for AIDS programs.

The House bill, approved by voice vote, makes some changes in the existing act, including giving states more flexibility to provide a wide range of treatments and support services.

It requires states to provide mandatory AIDS counseling and voluntary HIV testing for pregnant women and supports state programs requiring mandatory HIV testing for newborns.

It modifies the distribution system that saved most of the funding for large urban areas that have been hit hardest by the AIDS epidemic but ensures that no city currently receiving aid will face a reduction greater than 1% of its 1995 funding level.

Differences must still be worked out with a Senate bill.

Congress appropriated $633 million for the program in fiscal 1995. A House-passed spending bill provides $644 million in 1996.

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