Since coming to Congress, Barbara Lee has authored or co-authored every major piece of HIV/AIDS legislation. She founded and has served as a co-chair to the HIV/AIDS Caucus and built bipartisan support for HIV/AIDS education and treatment.
In 2000, Congresswoman Lee co-authored the Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000. This legislation established the framework for what became the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund has since saved millions of lives and accelerated an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In 2000, Congresswoman Lee built support within the Congressional Black Caucus to work with President Bush in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Congresswoman Lee was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This legislation has saved millions of lives and changed the course of the pandemic.
In 2001, Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus stood united in calling on the Bush Administration to declare a State of Emergency for HIV/AIDS in minority communities. Three years prior, a public health officer had declared a Public Health Emergency on AIDS in Alameda County’s African American Community, resulting in increased prevention efforts and decreasing infection rates in Alameda.
In 2005, Congress passed Congresswoman Lee’s Assistance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act. This legislation provided new tools for the U.S. and international organizations to assist the 143 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean who have lost one or both of their parents.
In 2007, Congresswoman Lee introduced legislation to lift the discriminatory HIV travel ban to the United States. Her legislation was passed by Congress in 2008 and President Obama helped end the ban in its entirety in 2010. This work cleared the way for the International AIDS Conference to return to the United States in 2012. She has attended all but one International AIDS Conference since being elected to Congress.
In 2010, Congresswoman Lee served as the United States Representative on the United Nations Global Commission on HIV and the Law. She co-authored the Commission’s landmark report, which provided a blueprint for ending the epidemic and repealing outdated, unscientific and stigmatizing HIV-discrimination laws.
Congresswoman Lee played a vital role in the creation of National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In 2010, she worked with President Obama and the White House to draft this landmark document to address the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic.