In advance of World AIDS Day on December 1, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, noted that although great progress has been made in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, there is still much to be done to overcome one of the world's greatest public health challenges. Enzi said it is important to discuss and examine the advances being made to halt the HIV/AIDS epidemic both here in the United States and around the world.
"When I traveled to Africa this spring to visit the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded sites, I saw big changes from when I was there years ago. The biggest difference I noticed on this most recent trip compared with my previous trip is the number of people on treatment," said Senator Enzi. "We have not quite turned the corner yet, but we can see the corner and this is much closer than we have ever been to conquering the epidemic."
Senator Enzi noted that HIV-positive pregnant women with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs has contributed huge reductions in the transmission of HIV from mother to child, reaching nearly 750,000 women living with HIV. HIV-positive pregnant women taking ARV medication have HIV-negative infants and are able to breastfeed afterwards. PEPFAR has made great continued progress, finding more effective ways to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV."
"We are at a critical juncture in the fight against HIV/AIDS both in the United States and internationally and we must address these issues without delay in a transparent and accountable manner," said Senator Enzi. "After we have come so far, we must not lose our sense of urgency in conquering this epidemic and continue to work towards the goal of an AIDS-free generation."
Observed yearly on December 1, World AIDS Day is dedicated to raising responsiveness with respect to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.