"According to the United Nations Joint Commission on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), over 33 million people are living with AIDS worldwide, and estimates indicate that 25 million have already died. We have a moral responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to address this global pandemic." –Barbara Lee
Though thirty years have passed since the first diagnoses of AIDS in the United States, we have yet to find a cure or vaccine. While much progress has been made and medical treatments have improved dramatically, HIV/AIDS still remains one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. Millions worldwide live with the disease, and nationwide, the rate of infection continues to grow, especially within our gay and minority communities.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee believes that it is morally imperative upon the United States to use the resources available to us to take decisive and effective action against HIV/AIDS. As a founding co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus and the United States representative on the United Nations Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the Congresswoman has proven her determination to fight this epidemic–at home and abroad.
Congresswoman Lee advocates the implementation of a National HIV/AIDS strategy for the United States. She has supported and created legislation to increase domestic spending for HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating waiting lists for AIDS drugs, supporting comprehensive sex education in schools and universities, and expanding HIV testing, prevention and care.
Fighting HIV/AIDS, not only domestically—but also globally.
Globally, while there has been unparalleled progress in HIV response over the past decade, access to life-saving HIV services remains uneven in many regions and countries. It is critical to reduce the cost of life-extending and life-saving drugs and allow for their generic production and importation in developing countries, so that treatment would be available to everyone, including the impoverished.
To combat this reality, Congresswoman Lee is at the forefront in Congress for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, treatment, and care for young people around the world. This includes supporting the needs of vulnerable populations at highest risk of HIV infection and supporting AIDS research, including HIV vaccine development and eventually a cure. One of her goals is to eliminate new HIV infections in children by 2015.
She led the efforts to support the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and to eliminate the discriminatory travel ban that was instrumental in bringing the 2012 International AIDS Conference to the US.