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Pelosi Statement Marking 40 Years of HIV/AIDS in America

Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,


San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking 40 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on what would later be understood as the first documented cases of AIDS on June 5, 1981:

“Today, Americans mark a solemn milestone: forty years since the discovery of HIV/AIDS, a disease that has inflicted nearly unparalleled anguish, pain and devastation on our country and world.  On this day, we take time to mourn the hundreds of thousands of Americans we have lost to this vicious disease and pray for all grieving their tragic loss.  We also pay tribute to the more than one million Americans living with HIV today, who have bravely battled not only the virus but its cruel stigma.  

“In San Francisco, we remember the darkest months of the start of the crisis, when many of us were visiting the hospital constantly and attending two funerals a day.  Today, we are blessed to be able to celebrate the birthdays, weddings and retirements of our long-term survivors.  Despite these achievements, our nation still loses 13,000 Americans every year to AIDS – a toll that breaks our hearts and continues to demand our urgent action.

“As we celebrate the tremendous progress made to defeat this disease, we must recommit to finishing this fight.  As Speaker, I have been proud to lead Congress’s response to HIV/AIDS, including securing billions for treatment, prevention, community-based models of care, and the search for a cure here at home and abroad, as well as providing affordable housing for low-income survivors through HOPWA and expanding access to quality, affordable health care for those affected.  As we carry on the fight today, the Democratic Congress looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to fully fund initiatives to end this epidemic at home and abroad.

“Today, and every day, let us renew our vow to always support our long-term survivors and work to finally banish HIV to the dustbin of history.”

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