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Tubbs Jones Commemorates World AIDS Day

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones released this statement commemorating the 19th Anniversary of World AIDS Day.

"This past Friday, December 1, was World AIDS Day, a day where we pause to once again focus our attention on this deadly disease that has proved to be so devastating to so many throughout the world. Since the first diagnosis in 1981, approximately 65 million people have been infected with the HIV virus, while more than 25 million people have died of AIDS worldwide. In 2007 alone, The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that AIDS had killed 2.1 million people while 33.2 million people were living with HIV worldwide and of whom 2.5 million people were newly infected.

"An estimated one million people are currently living with HIV in the United States, with approximately 40,000 new infections occurring each year. 70 percent of these new infections occur in men and 30 percent occur in women. African Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, yet now account for 54 percent of all AIDS cases in the United States. Additionally, 64 percent of the new infections in women occur in African American women.

"In order to combat this problem we must begin to educate people across this country about avoiding risky behavior and the importance of protecting yourself when engaging in sexual intercourse, but first you must know your status.

"We must pay particular attention to the education of our young people with regards to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since the introduction of abstinence-only education ten years ago, sexually transmitted disease rates are up. I would like to applaud the Governor of my home state of Ohio, Ted Strickland's efforts to implement a comprehensive sex education program in our schools that focuses on both abstinence and contraception. It is my hope that this is something that is implemented on a national level.

"Last year I issued a challenge to all Americans, and specifically African American women who are the fastest growing segment of the population to be infected by HIV/AIDS, to get tested and know their status. Today I reissue that challenge, and I will keep pressing this issue until we are able to find a cure and bring an end to this disease."

World AIDS Day was conceived in 1988 to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. Nineteen years later the world continues to move forward in trying to combat this deadly disease. Rep. Tubbs Jones is a co-sponsor of a resolution introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee supporting the goals and ideas of World AIDS Day.

SOURCE Office of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones
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