Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) released this statement in recognition of World AIDS Day, calling for a renewed commitment to combat HIV/AIDS in the United States and around the world:
"This devastating disease affects millions of men, women and children across all ethnic, social economic and geographical borders. There are an estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe. This virus has taken more than 25 million lives since 1981.
"In the United States, someone is infected with this virus every 9.5 minutes, totaling more than an estimated 1.1 million people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 50,000 Americans contract HIV each year.
"In Wisconsin, over 8,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS. Nearly half of those people live in Milwaukee County. Regardless of an individual's sexual orientation, it is increasingly important to learn more about this disease, its risk factors, warning signs and prevention methods.
"Every day, HIV/AIDS takes our brothers, sisters, parents and friends. Despite the destruction this disease causes, hope remains. Every year, we move closer and closer to realizing an AIDS free generation. Now is not the time to reduce funding and activist efforts to treat, prevent and eradicate this disease.
"New scientific breakthroughs have proven effective in preventing the transmission of this disease to infants. Today, HIV positive babies account for only one percent of children born to HIV positive mothers.
"This week, Secretary of State Clinton unveiled the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) "Blueprint for an AIDS-Free Generation.' This plan ensures the United States' commitment to ending the global AIDS pandemic remains strong and comprehensive, while also providing a roadmap for what the U.S. will do to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
"As a government and as a people, we must do everything we can to commit ourselves to ending this disease and reducing the stigma that surrounds this disease. I urge my colleagues, my constituents and all Americans to do your part to end the fight against HIV/AIDS."