A program aimed at addressing the unmet health needs of people living with HIV/AIDS was recently honored with a 2022 Golden Helix Award from Georgia Bio, the state’s life sciences advocacy and business leadership industry association.
The Augusta University Ryan White Program is a recipient of one of this year’s Community Awards, which are presented to a small number of individuals, companies or institutions whose contributions to Georgia’s life sciences community are worthy of special recognition.
First enacted by Congress in 1990, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency — or CARE — Act funds health care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS, with the ultimate goal of getting people into care and keeping them there. The AU Ryan White Program was established in 1995 by a grant from the federal Ryan White Program/CARE Act, and currently serves 1,200 people each year from throughout the Central Savannah River Area, some coming from as far as Atlanta and Greenville, South Carolina.
Program staff help people living with HIV/AIDS continue to receive primary care services by focusing on treatment adherence strategies that are ultimately aimed at improving their quality of life. They work to help people address common barriers to care, including things like financial instability, transportation issues, psychosocial issues and the effects of poverty, substance abuse and social stigma. They also work to identify those at risk for HIV infection and offer counseling, testing and referral services and provide mental health and substance abuse services.
Georgia Bio’s members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies; medical centers, universities and research institutes; government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences-related products and services. They work closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow Georgia’s life sciences economy.