HRC Blog

House Members Launch Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus

Longtime advocates for equality, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) made big news on Capitol Hill today as they, along with otherwise anti-gay Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), launched the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. Speaking at the press conference, each of the co-chairs signaled their determination to put an end to the epidemic, and pledged to work together to achieve that goal.  Jeffrey S. Crowley, White House Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, joined the Caucus Co-Chairs and spoke briefly about the importance of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and thanked the members and advocates for keeping up the pressure to ensure funding for implementation of the NHAS.

“Release and implementation of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy, progress achieved through PEPFAR and the Global Fund, and recent HIV research advances show that increasingly we have the knowledge, skills, and tools to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and eliminate disparities and inequities,” said Ronald Johnson, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at AIDS United (one of HRC’s coalition partners). Johnson also emphasized that in order to end the epidemic, it is critical for the U.S. to also focus on those most at risk, namely, men who have sex with men.

Concerns about the budget climate hung in the air, but none of the members, Democrat or Republican, let it deter them from making their point known.  The HIV/AIDS Caucus was founded with a specific purpose and we trust that economic hardship will not dissuade these members from fighting for the resources and tools necessary to bring an end to this healthcare crisis.

The list of Caucus members as of this writing are below.  If your representative isn’t on the list, ask that he or she join. People living with HIV and AIDS, including many in our LGBT community, depend on it.

Baldwin (D-WI)        Karen Bass (D-CA)

Berman (D-CA)         Bordallo (D-GU)

Brady (D-PA)            Braley (D-IA)

Brown (D-FL)            Butterfield (D-NC)

Capuano (D-MA)     Carter (R-TX)

Castor (D-FL)           Christensen (D-VI)

Chu (D-CA)                Cicilline (D-RI)

Clarke (D-MI)           Cohen (D-TN)

Conyers (D-MI)       Cummings (D-MD)

Deutch (D-FL)          Engel (D-NY)

Franks (R-AZ)          Gonzalez (D-TX)

Grijalva (D-AZ)       Gutierrez (D-IL)

Himes (D-CT)           Hinchey (D-NY)

Honda (D-CA)          Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)

Johnson (D-GA)      Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Lee (D-CA)                Lewis (D-GA)

Maloney (D-NY)    McDermott (D-WA)

McKinley (R-WV)  Nadler (D-NY)

Norton (D-DC)        Olver (D-MA)

Pascrell (NJ-8)       Payne (D-NJ)

Pelosi (D-CA)           Quigley (D-IL)

Rangel (D-NY)        Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Rothman (D-NJ)    Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Rush (D-IL)              Sanchez, L (D-CA)

Schakowsky (D-IL) Scott (D-VA)

Serrano (D-NY)       Sires (NJ-13)

Speier (D-CA)           Towns (D-NY)

Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Waters (D-CA)          Watt (D-NC)

Waxman (D-CA)       Frederica Wilson (D-FL)


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