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This background paper provides an overview of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in the United States and discusses how treatment of the disease and the populations most affected by it have changed over time. The federal government’s domestic and global efforts in prevention, research, and treatment of the disease are highlighted. The paper outlines the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, a set of programs that fund treatment services for uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and places it in the context of other federal programs that fund treatment for HIV/AIDS. Policy issues for Ryan White’s potential congressional reauthorization are also discussed.

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