Pelosi Statement on World AIDS Day
Washington, D.C. -- House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement
today on World AIDS Day:
"Today marks the 16th annual
World AIDS Day, and while there has been some progress, it is clear
that much more must be done to stop this global pandemic. More
than 3 million people around the world died from AIDS this past
year, and nearly 40 million are infected with the HIV virus.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the hardest hit region, but HIV rates are
increasing all across the globe.
"In the United States,
approximately half of the almost 1 million people living with
HIV/AIDS do not have a regular source of health care, and
communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted,
representing the majority of new AIDS cases and AIDS deaths.
Globally, less than 1 percent of adults in developing countries have
access to voluntary counseling and testing, and nine out of ten
people who need antiretroviral drugs cannot get them.
"The statistics show that we are
not keeping pace with the spread of this catastrophic disease.
This is especially true for women and girls, who are the focus of
this year's World AIDS Day. African American women account for
nearly two thirds of the approximately 12,000 new HIV infections
among women in this U.S. each year. In Sub-Saharan Africa,
women represent a majority of HIV infections and a staggering 76
percent of HIV infections among young people ages 15 to 24.
Women must know how to protect themselves and must have access to
the care and treatment they need to stay healthy.
"We know how to treat this
devastating disease. Success stories can be found in every
part of the world. When we invest more resources, more people
have access to lifesaving drugs, more people learn how to protect
themselves and their partners, more people have access to voluntary
counseling and testing, and more pregnant women are offered services
to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
"President Bush must provide the
full $15 billion he promised for the fight against HIV/AIDS in his
2003 State of the Union Address. So far, his budgets have
fallen far short. The President must also stop proposing
budgets that provide little or no new funding for domestic HIV/AIDS
care, treatment, and prevention."
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