Ms. BONAMICI. This is an important week for the United States as we host the International AIDS Conference for the first time in 22 years.
Decades ago, our country made the shameful decision that no one who is HIV positive could enter our borders. With the President's lifting of that ban and a greater attention to the AIDS crisis, along with the advent of drugs that help those with HIV live longer, we are approaching what we should have always been--a global leader in the fight against AIDS.
Countless Oregonians have been affected by AIDS. I've personally lost friends to AIDS, and as of June 30, more than 5,600 people in Oregon were living with HIV. It's time to eliminate the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and to focus on prevention, treatment, and care.
The participants of the conference this week show immense dedication to the fight against HIV and AIDS, both in the U.S. and abroad. Congress should have the same dedication. Funding for prevention and treatment programs is crucial, as is funding for medical research and drug development.
We've come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to do. I urge my colleagues to join me. Speak out. Help to end the stigma. Let's work together to fight AIDS.