Rep. Engel Says More Needs to Be Done to Combat HIV/AIDS

Rep. Engel Says More Needs to Be Done to Combat HIV/AIDS

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Subcommittee on Health for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, commemorated World AIDS Day by calling for a renewed commitment to combat HIV/AIDS.

“We have made significant strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the very thought that we are within striking distance of achieving a generation of children born-free from HIV, is remarkable. Reaching that goal requires continued commitment from various governments, NGOs, non-profits and the private sector. We are stronger together than we are individually, and combining our resources will only hasten the decline of AIDS.

“In the United States, the Ryan White CARE Act has been instrumental in providing medical treatment and support services for low-income, uninsured and underinsured HIV/AIDS patients. In April, I signed a letter asking for increased funding for the Ryan White Program to help meet the critical needs of those with HIV/AIDS.”

In September, 2013, Congressman Engel introduced the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, which extended key aspects of the PEPFAR program for five years. Identical legislation was signed into law by President Obama last December in conjunction with World AIDS Day 2013.

“When PEPFAR was created in 2003, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence for those living in Africa. To date, nearly 7.7 million people have obtained life-saving antiretroviral treatment from PEPFAR, helping prevent over 1.5 million children from contracting HIV from their infected mothers.

“We have a moral obligation to do all that is in our power to halt the spread of this deadly disease that has claimed the lives of 39 million people across the world. There are few votes I have taken as significant as the ones I have cast in support of the Ryan White Program and PEPFAR, and I am looking forward to the day when those initiatives will no longer be necessary.”