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Pelosi on Global HIV/AIDS Bill: 'There is a Moral Imperative to Combat This Epidemic'
Date:4/2/2008

anti-retroviral treatment to almost 1.5 million people, supporting care for nearly 6.7 million including more than 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children, and supporting prevention of more than 150,000 infant infections. We're talking about AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.

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

"The legislation before us today will move us from the emergency phase to the sustainability phase in fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. My colleagues have presented the provisions of the bill to you, so I'll just submit mine for the record, and just say in the closing that 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.

"Since the AIDS epidemic began, 20 million men, women, and children have died from the disease. 20 million. Forty million around the globe are HIV-positive. That's what we know. We don't even know of those who have not come forth to be tested. Each and every day, another 6,000 people become infected with HIV.

"In addition, the number of orphans, vulnerable children with sick parents, and adolescents at risk for HIV continues to grow, with an estimated 19 million needing assistance by 2010. There is a moral imperative to combat this epidemic.

"If we have these drugs distributed in the manner in which they are under PEPFAR, then people will come forward to be tested, then we will have better success with our prevention initiatives. And so it's all related. Care causes people to say that there is a reason to be tested, and knowing the consequences of the disease contributes to the prevention effort.

"Few crises have called out more for sustained, constructive America leadership. This legislation before us makes that commitment. I urge our colleagues to
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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