"When I said in my first House floor speech in 1987 that I came to Congress to fight AIDS, people were shocked. Other Members asked me: 'Why would you want to be labeled that way?'
"My reply was: 'That's why I came to the Congress.' Because San Francisco had suffered the most, we now had an opportunity to be a model for America - and eventually the world.
"We have made a great deal of progress since then, but so much more work remains.
"As the new Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows, Americans' sense of urgency about HIV/AIDS has fallen, but serious challenges remain and our commitment remains strong.
"We simply cannot rest until we have done everything we can to prevent new infections, including ensuring access to effective interventions like needle exchange. We cannot rest until every person living with HIV has access to the care and medications they need to stay healthy. And we cannot rest until we have a cure.
"We can take heart from President Obama's pledge in his inspirational Inaugural Address to 'restore science to its rightful place.' Some say we must choose between faith and science. We say that science is the answer to our prayers.
"That is why President Obama and Congress worked to invest $10 billion for lifesaving biomedical research in the recently enacted Recovery Act.
"With NIH-supported research, and the nearly $275 million contributed by amfAR, we will achieve the next great advances in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.
"Thank you again for honoring me with the 2009 amfAR Award of Courage. I will proudly display this award in the Speaker's Office so that all who visit will see this symbol of our continued commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS."
|SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House|
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