From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on World AIDS Day

December 1, 2004

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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