Today Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. released the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day: "I stand in full support of the more than 33 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, including over one million Americans.
"World AIDS Day began in 1988 to raise public awareness for one of the most deadly pandemics in history. Since 1981, over 25 million people have died from HIV or AIDS related illnesses, and in 2008 alone more than 2.7 million people were newly infected. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than one million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with one in five of those cases currently unaware of their condition. HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects people of color, men who have sex with men and those without access to affordable birth control.
"2011 marks 30 years since the discovery of the first AIDS cases in the United States. To date, the work we've done here in the United States and abroad has been effective as HIV/AIDS infections worldwide are at their lowest levels since 1997. There is much more to be done, but I'm proud of the commitment we've made - research at the National Institutes of Health, prevention and education programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ryan White CARE Act, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria - and it is my hope that we will continue this great work.
"World AIDS Day provides us with an occasion to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS preventive measures. With continued commitment to public health programs, research, early testing and screening, and age appropriate sexual education programs, we can work together to protect ourselves from HIV/AIDS and eradicate this disease for good.
"I urge others to stand with me in supporting Americans and people across the globe that are infected with HIV/AIDS, and to support the efforts that will bring an eventual end to this deadly disease," concluded Jackson.