WASHINGTON - Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued a statement today regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report that found that African-American men and women account for more than half of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection from 2001 to 2005, even though they represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
"Although this new report by the CDC is an informative tool for us to understand the growing impact of HIV/AIDS on minority communities, the real issue here is inadequate funding to combat this alarming trend," said Solmonese. "We urge the administration to immediately resolve the delay in the delivery of Minority AIDS Initiative funding. The CDC report underscores what all of us in the HIV/AIDS community already know, that the lives of too many Americans are being lost due to the misplaced priorities of the Bush administration."
The president's fiscal year 2008 budget request released on Feb. 5, 2007, contained mostly level funding over 2007 levels for the Ryan White CARE Act, yet included an increase of $28 million to anti-gay abstinence-until-marriage programs.
"It has been almost two years since the CDC reported that 46 percent of African-American men who have sex with men in five major cities are HIV positive," Solmonese continued. "Throwing more money at unproven abstinence programs while HIV/AIDS rates among black gay and bisexual men grow is unacceptable."
The report published in the March 9 edition of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that black men and women accounted for more than 50 percent of the newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in the United States from 2001 to 2005, despite composing only 13 percent of the country's population. The report also found that blacks accounted for 40 percent of AIDS-related deaths and 61 percent of new AIDS diagnoses among people ages 13 to 24. View the full report www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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