Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on World AIDS Day

Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day:
“As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the 17th annual World AIDS day we pause and reflect on the toll this disease has taken on the world. Since it was officially recognized in 1982, AIDS has killed over 25 million people worldwide while 33.4 million continue to suffer from its effects today. According to the Center for Disease Control, HIV/AIDS has had a disproportionate impact on African Americans in the United States. Despite representing only 14% of the US population, African Americans accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections in 2009. Compared with members of other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease—from new infections to deaths.

“We have come a long way, but there is still work to be done. HIV/AIDS remains a significant public health challenge and it remains clear that we must do more to improve access to treatment and testing. I commend the Obama Administration for committing additional resources to combat the global epidemic thereby enabling more Americans living with HIV/AIDS to obtain life-saving treatment. I would also like to recognize our Members, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congresswoman Maxine Waters for their leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Congresswomen and many other members in the CBC have worked tirelessly to push legislation to help alleviate and hopefully one day eradicate this horrendous disease not only in the United State but worldwide.

“This year’s theme is ‘Getting to Zero’ and we will work diligently to reach this admirable goal. Until this victory is reached, we will continue to pursue legislative solutions to end this disease.

-Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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