The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act full implementation: a critical review of predictions, evidence, and future directions

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The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) has been effective in serving people living with HIV (PLWH). Our goal was to examine the impact of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the program's role in HIV care and its clients. We utilized critical review to synthesize the literature on the anticipated effects of the ACA, and assess the evidence regarding the early effects of the ACA on the program and on PLWH who receive RWHAP services. To date, research on the impact of ACA on RWHAP has been fragmented. Despite the expected benefits of the ACA to PLWH, access and linkage to care, reducing inequity in HIV risk and access to care, and coping with comorbidities remain pressing challenges. There are additional gaps following ACA implementation related to immigrant care. RWHAP's proven success in addressing these challenges, and the political threats to ACA, highlight the need for maintaining the program to meet HIV care needs. More evidence on the role and impact of RWHAP in this new era is needed to guide policy and practice of care for PLWH. Additional research is needed to explore RWHAP care and its clients' health outcomes following ACA implementation, with a focus on at-risk groups such as immigrants, transgender women, homeless individuals, and PLWH struggling with mental health problems.