Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) introduced a House resolution expressing support for continued international cooperation to combat HIV/AIDS. The resolution was co-sponsored by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) who are both co-chairs of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Alcee Hastings (D-FL).
An estimated 34,000,000 people around the world are living with HIV, yet 1 in 5 individuals in the U.S. is unaware of being infected. The good news is that new HIV infections worldwide are at their lowest levels since 1997 and recent scientific advancements have resulted in revolutionary breakthroughs in the AIDS response. Significant disparities persist across different communities and populations with regard to incidence of infection, access to treatment, and health outcomes, and the resolution calls for the engagement of civil society as a critically component to any global strategy to end AIDS.
H.Con.Res. 131 recognizes the XIX International AIDS Conference as a unique opportunity to change the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by capitalizing on scientific advances in treatment and prevention, building consensus to maximizing results, facilitating public-private partnerships, and accelerating momentum towards a cure. Known as AIDS 2012, the International AIDS Conference, runs July 22-27 in Washington, D.C., marking a dramatic return to U.S. soil of this major biannual global health gathering after a hiatus of 22 years. More than 20,000 persons from around the world will attend. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a founding co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, will speak at the opening plenary session on July 22, 2012.
"AIDS is still the greatest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime," said Congresswoman Lee. "As we work to turn the tide together, America's need for a greater AIDS response underscores that AIDS 2012 is an important and long overdue opportunity for our domestic epidemic to become part of a global effort."