The Indiana State Department of Health has received over $26 million to provide services to individuals diagnosed with HIV, the largest award to provide those services in Indiana history.
The 2017 Ryan White Supplemental Award, given by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and named for the Howard County native who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, will be used to increase treatment capacity for people with HIV by funding psychiatric nurse practitioners and mental health and addiction counselors. It will also facilitate efforts to connect individuals with HIV care sooner, help expand case management services, develop a network of recovery coaches, provide food and housing assistance and pay for mental health and hepatitis C treatment.
White, who attended Western Middle School, became the focus of media attention after his battle to stay at the school following his diagnosis, and his struggle helped bring attention to the disease.
In 2014, White was inducted into the Howard County Hall of Legends, where he was honored for becoming the unofficial poster child and spokesperson for the fight against AIDS.
The Indiana State Department of Health will issue a request for proposals to select recipients of the funding, focusing on areas of the state with the highest populations of people with HIV, including Allen, Clark, Lake, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Scott, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Vigo counties.