12/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2019 16:00
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, announced that Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón (R-Puerto Rico) would co-chair the caucus, a coalition of bipartisan and bicameral members who are committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, improving the lives of those living with the infection, and ensuring that everyone is informed and knows their status.
'We have made incredible progress in our fight for an AIDS-free generation, and Congress must continue to work together to support programs we know are working,' said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. 'I look forward to working with Rep. González-Colón to address the needs of communities disproportionately impacted by HIV - including African Americans and Latinx Americans - as we continue working towards an AIDS-free generation. I am delighted to partner with her in leading the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus.'
'In 2017, there were nearly 40,000 cases of HIV diagnosed in the United States of which 26% of them are from the Latino population,' said Congresswoman González Colón. 'In Puerto Rico, there has been close to 50,000 cases reported and 59% of those have ended in a death. The Center for Disease Control found that the increase in diagnoses in Latinos is concentrated in 7 states including Puerto Rico. Many Latinos around the nation do not know if they are affected or not, while others fear being tested for fear of rejection, discrimination, stigma, poor access to health or even their immigration status. Education, prevention, protection and early diagnosis are key to battle with this deadly disease. I am proud to become the co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus and I am eager to put an end to this disease by educating, facilitating healthcare access, and eliminating the stigmas that surround this disease.'
The Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral caucus dedicated to serving as a clearinghouse for information on developments related to global and domestic HIV/AIDS. Founded in 2011 by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Trent Franks, and Congressman Jim McDermott to explore opportunities and support policy initiatives that help achieve an AIDS-free generation in the United States and around the world.