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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on World AIDS Day

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), released the following statement commemorating – recognizing World AIDS Day 2009:

“In honor of World AIDS Day 2009, I encourage every member of our global society to pause and reflect on what we have overcome and what we have yet to achieve in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

According to the Global Health Council, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has claimed over 25 million lives. Currently there are 33 million people living with this disease. Advocacy and funding initiatives are focused on expanding the much needed access to treatment and care.

“That is why, since being elected to Congress in 2006, I have been fighting to ensure that all Americans have early access to HIV/AIDS treatment. I also stood with my colleagues in government to support the goals and ideals of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day,” said Rep. Clarke. “The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States has affected the African-American community and other communities of color at exorbitant rates.”

“I am an ardent supporter of HR 1616, the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2009 and voted in favor of the Lantos-Hyde U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act,” added Rep. Clarke. “This bill works to prevent new HIV infections and provide medical and nonmedical care for at-risk populations, including 5 million orphans, and trains new health care workers to work in the field.”

“This year’s theme of ‘Human Rights and Access to Treatment,’ serves to remind us all of how important universal health care access is and how timely the passing of H.R. 3962, Affordable Healthcare for America Act, is. I am also happy to report that due to the efforts of the Congressional LGBT Equity Caucus, the Early Treatment for HIV Act was incorporated into the healthcare reform legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives,” stated Rep. Clarke.

Congresswoman Clarke also declared that, “As a Member of the 111th Congress, I am proud to say that part of our commitment toward access to treatment includes the reauthorization of the Ryan White Act, which the President signed into law this year. As a result, the Ryan White program will continue to increase access to primary care and medications by providing additional resources to patients.”

“We must all work together to stem the epidemic, in the United States as well abroad, in order to ensure the health and well being of the global community. There is a clear moral imperative for us to do so,” concluded Rep. Clarke.

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