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Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Vows to Continue Fight Against Mother-to-Child-HIV-Transmission

May 11, 2012

Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Vows to Continue Fight Against Mother-to-Child-HIV-Transmission

In advance of Mother's Day, Co-Chairs of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, Trent Franks (R-AZ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jim McDermott (D-WA), introduced a bipartisan House resolution "Recognizing the potential for the virtual elimination of pediatric HIV and AIDS and keeping HIV positive mothers alive."

Over 1,000 children around the world still contract HIV each day, the majority through mother-to-child-transmission. The vast majority (90%) of children living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2010, only 23 percent of HIV-positive children were receiving anti-retroviral therapy.

Representative Lee promised that she would continue to fight for funding for HIV programs. Representative McDermott also spoke out against cuts in funding streams that help to combat mother-to-child-HIV-transmission. Representative Franks endorsed mother-to-child-transmission as one of the primary ways in which to achieve an HIV-free generation by 2015.

The Resolution calls for Congress to:

  1. recognize that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is critical to stopping the spread of HIV worldwide;
  2. recognize that the fight to eliminate pediatric HIV has been a priority area in the United States AIDS response for the past decade, and that this leadership should continue;
  3. support providing women with HIV counseling and testing services where possible, and scaling up access to services that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV;
  4. call for greater access to more efficacious antiretroviral drug regimens for the health of women and children living with HIV and as prophylaxis to stop HIV transmission from mother-to-child during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding; and
  5. fully support United States led, and international efforts, to create a generation free of HIV, to eliminate new pediatric HIV infections worldwide, and to keep the mothers of that generation alive.

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