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Public Statements

Return of the International AIDS Conference

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, for the first time in more than two decades, the United States will host the 19th International AIDS Conference--drawing over 20,000 people from around the world to our Nation's capital.

Having participated in every Conference since I was first elected to Congress in 1998, I knew we could not bring the conference back to the United States until the discriminatory immigration ban on people living with HIV was lifted.

In 2007, I first introduced a bill to repeal the ban. Few believed it could be done, but through bipartisan support we achieved this goal.

This week, the return of the Conference is an important opportunity to shine a global spotlight on the fight against AIDS in African American communities and a national spotlight on the ongoing global epidemic.

Today, I will introduce new legislation to do just that.

Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Act articulates a policy and financing framework to achieve an AIDS-Free Generation in the United States and globally.

I urge all my colleagues to support it so that we can begin to bring an end to AIDS here at home and around the world.

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