Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) released the following statement in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
"Today marks the 13th year our nation has recognized February 7th as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Despite all the advances we have made in HIV/AIDS research and care, many African Americans continue to be disproportionally affected by this terrible disease. No matter one's sexual orientation, religion or political party the spread of HIV/AIDS is a national concern that we must keep at the front of our minds.
"I'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of a resolution supporting National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that calls on state and local governments, public health agencies and the media to publicize the importance of this day among the African American community. It also calls for reducing stigma and violence and for the creation of a National AIDS Strategy to eliminate AIDS altogether.
"African Americans are the most at-risk group in the United States for HIV infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV infection among African Americans was almost double that of white Americans and more than double that of Latino Americans in 2010. Despite being less than 10 percent of the population in Wisconsin, African Americans account for 40 percent of HIV infections in the state. This is nothing less than a tragedy.
"Despite the destruction this disease causes, there is still hope. African Americans are uniting to raise money for research, develop community support programs and advocate for government support. Government grants often fund the research that produces cures and treatments for the worst diseases. Now is not the time to cut funding for AIDS research or community support programs.
"I'd like to use this day to remind all of my constituents that taking precautions and knowing your own HIV status are still the best methods of HIV/AIDS prevention. By discussing this issue and becoming educated about it, we can begin to slow the spread of this awful disease. I urge my colleagues from both parties to stand with me in opposing cuts to HIV/AIDS research."