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On World AIDS Day, Let’s Redouble Our Efforts

Dec 1, 2016 | Blog

Growing up in the 1980s, I can still remember the sense of fear surrounding the fatal disease that came to be known as HIV/AIDS. While so many then knew its name and the death sentence it bore, no one knew how to treat it. And sadly, instead of compassion, the disease brought a stigma to those afflicted by it.

Fortunately, advancements in medicine and technology have brought hope to those with HIV/AIDS and allowed them to live their lives. But we shouldn’t get complacent. Living with HIV/AIDS is not easy; it brings unique challenges. We have yet to find a cure, but with continued breakthroughs in medicine, it’s my hope this generation will see the end of HIV/AIDS.

I’ve been proud to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative started by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama. Because of it, millions of people across the globe with HIV/AIDS are able to live more fulfilling lives, and millions of babies in Africa whose mothers are infected have been given the chance to live free of the virus.

We’ve achieved real progress, but the fight must continue. More than 36 million people across the globe have HIV/AIDS, and unfortunately, minority communities in the United States are impacted disproportionately. That’s why I will continue working to promote education, prevention, awareness, and research to improve treatment and find a cure.

Today, we remember and pray for those we have lost to this terrible disease, and honor their memory by redoubling our efforts to realize an AIDS-free world. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in Congress to help eradicate this virus.