10.15.15

Congresswoman Lee Marks National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, released this statement marking National Latino AIDS Awareness Day:

“As we mark National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, I am reminded of the impact this terrible virus has had on Latinos, at home and abroad.

According to the CDC’s most recent data, Latinos compromise just 16 percent of the U.S. population but account for more than one-fifth of all new HIV infections. The estimated rate of new infections amongst Latinos is more than triple the rate for white Americans and this disease continues to have a disproportionate impact on MSM Latinos.

While we have made significant progress in diagnosing HIV infections and connecting Latinos to care, the rate of viral suppression remains below 42 percent. Tragically, HIV/AIDS remains the seventh most common cause of death amongst Latinos aged 25-34.

With more than 220,000 Latinos living with the virus in the U.S., more must be done to empower this community with greater access to testing services and health care.

This National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, I encourage everyone to get educated and tested. Together, we can defeat AIDS.”

Background:

In the 114th Congress, Congresswoman Lee has introduced the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act (H.R. 1586), to advance efforts to repeal discriminatory HIV/AIDS laws, and the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (H.R. 1706), to ensure that all young people have access to medically-accurate, age-appropriate and comprehensive health education.

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.