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Rep. Waters: We Must Unite in Worldwide Solidarity in the Fight Against AIDS

Commemorates World AIDS Day 2019

WASHINGTON — As a congressional leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day, which is celebrated every year on December 1:

“World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the progress we have made in our fight against HIV/AIDS, honor those who have died, and unite in worldwide solidarity to give hope to the 1.1 million Americans, and the 37.9 million women, men, and children worldwide who are living with HIV/AIDS.

“Throughout my career, I have been a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and treatment, and I continue to work with national organizations and community leaders to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS initiatives. I spearheaded the creation of the Minority AIDS Initiative, which has significantly expanded HIV/AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment efforts among racial and ethnic minorities, and reduced the tragic AIDS disparities affecting minority communities in the United States. I am pleased to report that funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative has increased from the initial appropriation of $156 million in fiscal year 1999 to more than $400 million per year today. 

“Earlier this year, my House Democratic colleagues and I successfully fought for the passage of a series of fiscal year 2020 Appropriations bills, which include robust federal funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs, including $410 million for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program and $2.4 billion for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Earlier this year, I also reintroduced legislation, H.Res. 504, which honors National Clinicians HIV/AIDS Testing and Awareness Day and highlights the critical role that doctors, nurses, dentists, and other clinicians play in HIV/AIDS awareness, testing, and treatment efforts. By encouraging their patients to be tested for HIV, doctors and nurses can enable infected individuals to access appropriate medical care and begin taking action to avoid spreading the virus to others.

“While we have made progress, we must not forget the struggle that remains before us in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In honor of World AIDS Day, let us all rededicate ourselves to stopping the spread of this devastating disease, to caring for those who are infected, and to finding a cure.”

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