Pelosi Statement on World AIDS Day

Nov 30, 2006
Press Release

Pelosi Statement on World AIDS Day

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. â€" Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on World AIDS Day, which is recognized on December 1:

“Each year, World AIDS Day provides us with an opportunity to generate new awareness and build support for efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in our local communities and around the world. We must redouble our efforts to meet our responsibilities to the millions of people affected by HIV/AIDS.

“The most recent figures from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization show that we are not doing enough to keep pace with the spread of this catastrophic disease. It is estimated that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS continues to rise in every region of the world. Currently, there are nearly 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with more than 4 million people newly infected with HIV, and approximately 3 million AIDS deaths in 2006. We can and must do better.

“We know how to treat and prevent this dreadful disease. Life-saving anti-retroviral drugs have successfully transformed HIV from a death sentence, yet almost 7 million people worldwide still don’t have access to them. We also know that HIV/AIDS prevention strategies are successful if they are focused and sustained. The U.S. and the world community must provide the necessary resources to fully invest in stopping the AIDS pandemic, or it will spread farther and exact a greater cost.

“In San Francisco alone, we have lost more than 18,000 friends, family, and loved ones to this disease. Yet as we grieve for those we have lost, we are filled with hope as we see the strength of those with HIV/AIDS who are fighting and living full lives. This would not be possible without the help of the federal government through initiatives such as the Ryan White CARE Act. The act has greatly improved the quality and availability of health care services for people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. I was proud to be a part of the creation of the Ryan White CARE Act, and I was saddened this year to oppose its reauthorization because the funding level was not adequate to meet the needs of those served. Resources are critical to preventing and treating this disease, and we are not allocating enough at home or around the world.

“On World AIDS Day, let us come together to renew our call to fight this global pandemic and strengthen our commitment to helping those affected by HIV/AIDS.”