March 15, 2017

In Bipartisan Letter to Trump, Caucus Co-Chairs Urge Prioritizing HIV/AIDS

Washington, D.C. – This week, HIV Caucus Co-Chairs U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter urging the administration to continue the longstanding American commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS, both in the United States and abroad. These programs include the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, and the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA).

Statement by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA – 13):

“I am proud of the bipartisan legacy we have built to bring an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, here at home and across the globe. These programs have saved millions of lives and advanced the causes of public health and international peace. Due to these investments, we are at a turning point in addressing the AIDS epidemic – we can either recommit to ending this crisis, or we can retreat from our leadership in the world. I urge the Trump Administration and lawmakers to choose the first path, and continue investing in vital programs, like PEPFAR and the Global Fund, that will bring an end to this disease. I am grateful to lead this letter with my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. My hope is that our partnership on this critical issue will encourage the President to come to the table and work with us to achieve an AIDS-free generation.”

Statement by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27):

“As a co-chair of the bipartisan HIV/AIDS Caucus, I'm hopeful that the administration will work together with Congress to continue our work to eradicate HIV/AIDS. My colleague, Barbara, and I have been advocating for life-saving initiatives such as PEPFAR, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program that, if fully implemented, would ensure we cement our gains and continue to make progress to end this epidemic. The time to act is now so that future generations will be spared the scourge of HIV/AIDS."

The letter calls on President Trump to continue the more than two decades of executive leadership and strong, bipartisan support to end HIV/AIDS. Excerpt from the bipartisan letter: “Because of the indispensable federal programs and advancements in treatment and prevention, we are on track to significantly reduce the number of new infections and eventually end the HIV epidemic. However, our progress is dependent on continued federal support and coordination that we can continue caring for patients and preventing new infections. We cannot afford to take a step back.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.