By Ellen Braverman
This week, for National HIV Testing Day, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-07) led by example and got tested for HIV.
In volunteering to be screened for HIV, Rep. Lee hopes to bring awareness to the importance of getting tested.
Rep. Lee said, "Testing is one of the most crucial and effective tools we have in responding to the AIDS epidemic. The only way to eliminate stigma in our communities is by getting informed and knowing your status."
National HIV Testing Day is organized by the National Association of People with AIDS, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty-four million people around the world are HIV-positive, including nearly 15,000 residents of Washington, D.C.
Rep. Lee regularly participates in this event, along with other members of Congress. She is not only a champion for those living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, but also abroad.
Rep. Lee has been a leader in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. She co-authored legislation to renew America's commitment to the fight against AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Together, PEPFAR and the Global Fund have provided more than 8.6 million people with lifesaving antiretroviral drugs and treated more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis. Last year alone, these programs supplied nearly 13 million people, including more than 4.1 million orphans and vulnerable children, with medical care and support.
While ONE is lucky to count Rep. Lee as a champion for the global fight against AIDS, she cannot do it alone, and you can help. Please sign our petition urging Congress to help make AIDS history by defending funding for PEPFAR and The Global Fund, and share your support for these life-saving programs within your community in a letter to the editor.