Congresswoman Barbara Lee Observes World AIDS Day, Calls for Renewed Commitment to Ending HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Dec 1, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, released the following statement marking December 1st as World AIDS Day and recommitted to addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to end the AIDS pandemic and ensure that every person around the world has access to lifesaving education and medical care. Over the past few decades, we have made tremendous strides in addressing this public health emergency. But the sad reality is that too many people, in America and abroad, are still affected by this devastating virus.

“As an original author of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, I am proud of the millions of lives saved by these historic programs. PEPFAR alone has supported antiretroviral treatment for more than 13 million people, including more than a million children. PEPFAR is also helping us achieve our goal of an HIV-free generation – thanks to the hard work of health care practitioners, more 2.2 million babies have been born HIV-free, who would have otherwise been infected with the virus.

“Clearly, we are making historic progress to stop the spread of HIV, but we cannot afford to let up or backslide on our commitments to ending this public health crisis. The devastating cuts proposed by the Trump Administration and Republicans in the House of Representatives could result in this pandemic spiraling out of control. Right now, at home in the United States, more than a million people are living with HIV, and one out of every seven HIV-positive Americans don’t know that they’ve been infected. In order to achieve an AIDS-free generation by 2030, Congress must partner with the world community to address the persistent gaps in education and care. On World AIDS Day and every day, I’m calling on Congress to renew its commitment to this fight.”

Congresswoman Lee and former Senator Bill Frist’s World AIDS Day op-ed in Devex is available here.