HRC Blog

HRC and AIDS United Host Congressional HIV/AIDS Reception

This post comes from HRC Field Assistant Nick Martin:

This past Thursday, HRC and AIDS United had the pleasure of hosting members of Congress, the administration, and outside organizations in the Capitol to remember how much progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how much still needs to be accomplished.

Congressman Henry Waxman (CA) recounted the first recorded cases of what was thought to be a "rare cancer" near his Los Angeles district and how it developed into the HIV/AIDS global pandemic. Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) followed and said that although this disease has resulted in countless deaths, a generation without AIDS is on the horizon.

President Obama was credited for his work to lift the ban on people with HIV/AIDS traveling to the United State - which made it possible for the AIDS 2012 conference to be here for the first time in 22 years.  He also was praised for continuing PEPFAR, a positive program to address the epidemic internationally, that was started under his predecessor President George W. Bush.  

HRC President Chad Griffin highlighted that while this disease can harm anyone, LGBT people and people of color are disproportionately affected:

"There needs to be continued emphasis on at-risk populations including gay and bisexual men, transgender individuals and communities of color," Griffin said. "At a time when gay and bisexual men account for three out of five new HIV infections in this country, there's no time to waste."

Also in attendance were Senator John Kerry (MA) and Representatives Tammy Baldwin (WI), Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Eliot Engel (NY), Janice Hahn (CA), Rush Holt (NJ), Brad Miller (NC), and Jerry Nadler (NY).

The event was a great opportunity for us to thank Members of Congress for their work address the epidemic and to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS.  In addition, we were able to thank many allies from across the HIV/AIDS community for their dedication and commitment in meeting the needs of members of the LGBT with HIV/AIDS.

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