Congresswoman Lee Reintroduces Legislation Marking National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
WASHINGTON, D.C.?– Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, reintroduced legislation marking April 10th as National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD).
“Engaging youth in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS is absolutely critical, especially given the rise in transmissions among this demographic. Historically, young people have been less likely than any other group to be retained in care, with Black and Latino youth constituting a large segment of those cases. We need to ensure the next generation has access to the information, treatment, and prevention options for HIV/AIDS, continue working to eradicate bias, false information, and discriminatory attitudes, and ensure equity in our health care system. By passing this bill, we can take a major step towards achieving those goals and creating the first AIDS-free generation.”
Many young people are not aware of their HIV status or what services and prevention are available to them due to inadequate HIV education and low testing rates. Socio-economic status impacts access to care and stigma may discourage many young people from seeking information or care that could help them lead healthy lives.
This legislation calls on state and local governments to recognize NYHAAD and improve access to treatment and prevention resources. It also seeks to root out and eliminate misinformation on HIV/AIDS by promoting up-to-date, medically accurate information and identifying scientifically inaccurate or discriminatory HIV laws. It would also support an increase in funding for programs that help young people living with HIV/AIDS. This includes access to medication, testing, and clinical care.
Original Co-Sponsors: Representatives Terri Sewell, Danny K Davis, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Paul Tonko, Grace Meng, Jahana Hayes, David N. Cicilline, Karen Bass, Ted Lieu, Madeleine Dean, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Mark Takano, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Bobby L. Rush, Dina Titus
Endorsements: Advocates for Youth, Positive People Network, Black and Pink, Sero Project, Sero Project, Hondureños Contra el SIDA, Get Screened Oakland, HealthHIV, National Coalition for LGBTQ Health, Equality California, Equality California, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Center for HIV Law and Policy, NASATD, Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, Positive Women's Network-USA, National Black Justice Coalition, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, Fast-Track Cities Institute, Lambda Legal
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.