Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conyers: Congress Must Fully Fund Fight Against HIV/AIDS Epidemic

For Immediate Release
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Contact: Matthew Morgan – 202-226-5543

Conyers: Congress Must Fully Fund Fight Against HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Rise in HIV/AIDS among our youth is a national health care crisis that must be given more attention

(DETROIT) – Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement on World AIDs Day, a global health day designated to unite people in support of those living with HIV, to commemorate the lives of those who have died, and to build awareness and public support for the continuing fight against the global HIV epidemic: 

“Without a much needed increase in funding for desperately needed prevention programs targeted to our youth, there has been a sharp increase in the HIV/AIDS rate among teen-age boys and girls in our nation’s inner cities.  Congress must ensure adequate federal funding for the Ryan White Care Act so that our cities, states, and Nation have world class HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

“I have been a supporter of The Ryan White CARE Act in Congress for several years. The Ryan White program has given countless Americans access to life saving medications regardless of whether they are insured, underinsured, or uninsured.

“However, according to ADAPT, one of the nation’s leading HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations,  there are still too many people on waiting lists to receive life saving medications.  This is due to inadequate funding of the Ryan White Program.  There is no excuse for this, and I will continue to work in Congress to help ensure that every single person living with HIV/AIDS in America has access to life saving HIV/AIDS medication.

“Congress must take steps to adequately fund programs aimed at ending the transmission of this deadly disease. There are those in Congress who may say that we must reduce funding for HIV/AIDS prevention programs in order to reduce the national deficit.  I will fight any attempts to reduce funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs as they are too important to the health and future of our Nation.

“Tragically, there are six million people across the globe who do not have access to life saving HIV/AIDs medication.  According to the Global AIDS Alliance, with an additional $15-$30 billion dollars per year going to fight global HIV/AIDS, there would be enough funding to provide universal access for HIV/AIDS medication treatment throughout the world. This money can raised, but the world community must work together to do it.  Governments, corporations, charities, and private individuals should continue to donate research, treatment and prevention programs so that one day the world can live free of the scourge of HIV/AIDs.  The organization of this cause would be best led by President Obama.  

“Finally, I acknowledge the hard work of doctors, nurses, and social workers in the city of Detroit who are working tirelessly to make our city more hospitable for people living with HIV/AIDS.  And we cannot forget community leaders who work on education and community based HIV/AIDS programs in our schools and neighborhood centers.”

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