Human Rights Campaign President's Video Message Commemorates World AIDS Day

by HRC Staff

Joe Solmonese, President of HRC, Urges Americans to Renew Commitment to Fighting HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON - Friday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day, and 2006 marks the 25th anniversary of the very first report of an HIV/AIDS case in the U.S. by the Center for Disease Control. On this anniversary, Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, taped this special video message urging Americans to fight complacency and recommit to fighting HIV/AIDS in their communities.

Watch the video message.

Below is the transcript of this video message:

"This is Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. December 1 is World AIDS Day and we are now in the 25th year of this global epidemic. Today, there are 40 million people throughout the world living with HIV.

"This is an epidemic caused by a virus, yet it is fueled by ignorance, prejudice and homophobia.

"We are in the 25th year, yet Congress has not reauthorized the Ryan White CARE Act, which delivers critical care, prevention and comfort. We are in the 25th year, yet too many of us have walked away from this battle.

"On World AIDS Day, I urge to you to recommit yourself to HIV and AIDS. To support your local AIDS organizations. To hold your elected officials responsible for funding and supporting people living with HIV and AIDS.

"We need better messaging to reach young people. To reach African-American gay men, who are disproportionately infected. To engage more of us in this battle.

"Twenty-five years later, we still can win. But only if all of us stay in this very important fight.

"It's up to all of us to make AIDS a thing of the past. Let's come together and stop the spread of HIV and end prejudice."

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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