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Pelosi Statement on House Passage of Global AIDS Legislation

WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this evening in support of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde Global Leadership Against HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008. The bill, which passed the Senate last week, passed the House this evening by a vote of 303 to 115 and will now go the President for his signature into law.

"Today the House took an historic vote to pass landmark legislation to reauthorize our initiatives to fight infectious diseases in the developing world.

"I thank the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman and Congresswoman Barbara Lee for their tremendous leadership on this legislation.

"This bill is appropriately named the Tom Lantos and Henry Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act.

"Under the leadership of Tom Lantos and Henry Hyde, we passed the first President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) legislation that authorized $15 billion over five years. Today, we honor their legacy with this legislation.

"Working together with the Bush Administration and the Appropriations Committee, we succeeded in providing life-saving anti-retroviral treatment to nearly 1.5 million people, supporting care for nearly 6.7 million people, including nearly 3 million orphans and vulnerable children, and supporting prevention of more than 150,000 infant infections.

"Now we must take the next step in fighting infectious diseases in the poorest countries of the world.

"The legislation Congress has passed will move us from the emergency phase to the sustainability phase in fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. It will authorize $48 billion over five years to provide life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention for men, women, and children in the poorest countries of the world.

"The legislation will dramatically strengthen health care delivery systems, encourage new and innovative ways to deliver the ABC prevention message, improve relationships with governments and NGOs, eliminate the requirement that one third of the funding be used for abstinence programs, eliminate the travel ban for visitors who are HIV positive, improve services for women and girls, and build stronger linkages to health care and hunger initiatives.

"Few crises have called out more for sustained, constructive America leadership.

"Across the developing world, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed the very fabric of nations, devastated the most productive members of these societies, discouraged economic development, and orphaned 13 million children.

"The Leadership Against HIV/AIDS Act is our compact with developing nations across the globe. It says that America stands with them in this fight, that our commitment will not waver, and shows them America's true face of compassion."

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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