May 17, 2012
According to recent reports, the rate of HIV is rising in the South and among women. Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) are circulating a sign-on letter in the House of Representatives seeking support for an enhanced response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Women and the Southern United States as part of a regional approach in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). The letter will be sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Counsel, Cecilia Muñoz.
Recognizing the impact of HIV on both the South and women, the letter is calling for expanding access to HIV treatment, and supporting high quality, appropriate and effective prevention and care initiatives to achieve the goals of NHAS. For NHAS to be truly effective, AIDS United believes its implementation must include a geographic focus that recognizes regional aspects of the severity of the HIV epidemic throughout the country. The increase of the HIV epidemic in the South makes this region the logical first focus for regional attention. AIDS United is also planning to address this issue directly with Members of Congress in a June roundtable on HIV in the South.
Please email your Member of Congress and ask that they sign on to the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Reps. Lee and Johnson. The deadline for your Member to sign on is Friday, May 18.