Barbara Lee

From the office of:

Barbara Lee

From: The Honorable Barbara Lee
Sent By:
Date: 11/30/2015

Dear Colleague,

December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day to raise awareness of the fight against HIV/AIDS, to reflect on the tremendous progress we have made in our collective response, and to recommit ourselves to fighting the disease here at home and abroad.

Globally, our efforts through PEPFAR and the Global Fund are dramatically reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. New HIV infections worldwide are down 35% since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 42% since the peak in 2004. In the United States, with the coordinated efforts outlined in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, people are living longer with HIV than ever before and overall new infections remain stable.

Yet we still have much work to do. Approximately 35 million people are living with HIV globally, nineteen million of which don’t know they are infected. In sub-Saharan Africa, girls and young women account for 71% of new HIV infections; nearly 1,000 girls are infected with HIV every day. Communities of color and young men who have sex with men (MSM) bear the most significant burden of HIV here in the United States. Stigma and discrimination continue to be significant barriers to care.

In September, President Obama announced new prevention and treatment targets for the next two years. These targets include achieving a 25% reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in ten sub-Saharan African countries by 2016 and supporting 12.9 million people on anti-retroviral treatment by the end of 2017. But we cannot achieve these ambitious goals without strong bipartisan support.

That is why I invite you to join me in recognizing World AIDS Day this year by:

  • Wearing a red AIDS awareness ribbon, which can be picked up tomorrow in my office (2267 Rayburn)
  • Joining me in making a 1 minute Floor speech on World AIDS Day
  • Use social media to highlight the day and join the conversation using hashtag #WAD2015
  • Watch a live webcast of the White House World AIDS Day event tomorrow from 1:00pm-3:15pm (ET)
  • Join the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus
  • Cosponsor H.Res. 265 – recognizing the importance of continued commitment to ending pediatric AIDS worldwide

Please contact M.A. Keifer, of my staff at 5-2404 or, with any questions.