Despite Helms, Ryan White Act Extended
Over strenuous objections from Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a five-year extension of the Ryan White Act, which provides medical care and support services for AIDS patients.
The 97-3 vote came after two days of debate peppered with harsh criticism of homosexuals by Helms, who referred to AIDS-prevention programs as “thinly veiled attempts to restructure values of American families in favor of the homosexual lifestyle.”
This year alone, the act provided $633 million for outpatient medical care and support services for individuals diagnosed with AIDS or infected with the virus that causes it. The act, first approved in 1990, was named for a hemophiliac teen-ager from Indiana who died after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion.