A House committee on Wednesday passed a bill that will increase the money spent on AIDS in the South. Representatives from the South and rural states said that increased spending was needed since the HIV/AIDS epidemic has changed the way it is spreading.
"It shouldn't matter where you live in the country when it comes to accessing medical care and therapy," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I don't think that's right."
The Ryan White CARE Act of 1990 provides federal funds against the AIDS epidemic, which mainly occurred in white gay men in urban areas. In recent years it has been spreading among rural communities where there is a lack of federal funds. That is why increased spending is needed in such areas.
The new bill provides for local spending programs to prevent the epidemic.