Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), and Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA-7) joined together to re-launch the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus for the 113th Congress.
The Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus is a bipartisan and bicameral Congressional Member Organization dedicated to serving as a source for information on developments related to global and domestic HIV/AIDS. In the 113th Congress, the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus will explore opportunities and support policy initiates that help achieve an AIDS-free generation in the United States and around the world. More specifically, the Caucus will focus on domestic and international HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives, as well research efforts that can lead to a vaccine--and eventually a cure.
"The HIV epidemic remains one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time, with over 34 million people living with HIV around the globe," said Congresswoman Lee. "While this Congress remains divided on so many issues, the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus will continue the legacy and tradition of bipartisanship we need to remain vigilant in fighting this disease, and not go backwards in our tremendous gains. I am proud to help lead a bipartisan effort and encourage all Members of Congress, advocates, and stakeholders to join our efforts."
"I am very proud to co-chair the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus this Congress. The Caucus has been an important voice to educate and advocate for AIDS issues and I am excited to continue raising consciousness here in the House," said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. "We must never stop fighting until a cure is found and the scourge of HIV and AIDS is brought to end once and for all."
"Thanks to American leadership, the AIDS-free generation that once seemed unimaginable is now possible," said Congressman McDermott. "This bipartisan caucus is an important forum through which we in Congress can stay focused on achieving that goal."
This week also marks the third anniversary of the release of the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy to address the domestic HIV epidemic. Yesterday, President Obama introduced the HIV Care Continuum Initiative to ensure that federal efforts incorporate recent medical advances in HIV treatment and prevention. The initiative calls for coordinated action to implement evidence-based medical interventions, including expanding HIV screening to all persons aged 15-65 and treating HIV promptly upon diagnosis to reduce future transmission and health complications.