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Tuesday Congressional Briefing Relays Need for National AIDS Strategy
Date:5/19/2008

WASHINGTON, May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by AIDS Action:

WHAT: Congressional Briefing

"It's Time to End the Epidemic at Home: The Need for a National AIDS Strategy"

WHEN: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 -- 1-2 p.m. (Lunch provided at 12:45 p.m.)

WHERE: Rayburn Building, Room 2325

Honorary Congressional Cosponsors:

Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Representative Donna Christensen (D-VI)

Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY)

Representative Mike Honda (D-CA)

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Representative Janice Schakowsky (D- IL)

Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA)

Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY)

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Distinguished Panelists:

David Holtgrave, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Mario Perez, Director, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy,

LA County Department of Public Health

Phill Wilson, Executive Director, The Black AIDS Institute

Kathie Hiers, CEO, AIDS Alabama

Terrell Halaska, Partner at HCM Strategists, former Assistant Secretary for DOE, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Tommy Thompson

Marjorie Hill, PhD, CEO, Gay Men's Health Crisis

Moderator: Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action

WHY:

The United States, a leader in the international response to AIDS, is failing its own citizens in the response to the epidemic at home. More than 25 years since it was first identified, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. is characterized by needless mortality, inadequate access to care, persistent levels of new infection and stark racial inequalities.

Half of the more than 1 million people in America living with HIV/AIDS are not in medical care. More than 250,000 people don't know that they are infected. The percentage of new infections among women has tripled since 1985 to 27%, and AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women aged 25-34. Communities of color are hardest hit. African-Americans represent 13% of the population but nearly half of all new infections. Latinos, at 13% of the population, represented 20% of the new infections. HIV/AIDS remains the #1 health care risk for gay men. Infection rates are higher in some American communities than in Sub-Saharan Africa

The unsatisfactory outcomes from our country's response have serious human and economic costs. A study published by panelist Dr. David Holtgrave in 2003 found that failure to meet the government's goal of reducing HIV infections by half would lead to $18 billion in excess expenses through 2010.

It's time to end the epidemic at home. The federal government must develop a National AIDS Strategy that is results-oriented with measurable outcomes, a timeline and adequate funding. The next President must provide the leadership to make it happen, and Congress must support the National AIDS Strategy and devote the resources necessary for its development and implementation.

Organizational Cosponsors:

African American Health Alliance

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

AIDS Action Foundation

AIDS Alabama

AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AIDS Project Los Angeles

AIDS Survival Project

American Bar Association AIDS Coordinating Committee

amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

BIENESTAR

Balm in Gilead

The Black AIDS Institute

C2EA, Campaign to End AIDS

Cascade AIDS Project

CHAMP, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project

Gay Men's Health Crisis

Housing Works

Human Rights Campaign

L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center

Latino Commission on AIDS

Log Cabin Republicans

Nashville CARES

National Association of People with AIDS

National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS

NYCAHN, NYC AIDS Housing Network

Project Inform

San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Whitman-Walker Clinic

Treatment Action Group

The Women's Collective

Us Helping Us

MEDIA RSVP: Diego Sanchez, AIDS Action

617.450.1524, 617.835.1455 (m)

dsanchez@aac.org

http://www.NationalAIDSstrategy.org, http://www.aidsaction.org

Editor's note: Advance requests for on-site or post-briefing interviews and/or photographs are welcome.


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SOURCE AIDS Action
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