I am committed to ending the global occurrence of HIV/AIDS. I greatly support increased funding for research, prevention, healthcare and housing to combat the suffering resulting from AIDS in the United States and abroad. Additionally, I believe that the Ryan White CARE Act is vital to our efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, and I will continue to work to reauthorize and strengthen this important legislation.
I believe that it is necessary for the United States to take action to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, and that government action is essential. During the 108th Congress, I voted in favor of H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, which was passed by the House on May, 23, 2003. This bill, known as the AIDS Assistance Bill, authorizes funding for international HIV/AIDS programs, focusing on nations in the Caribbean and in Africa that have been seriously afflicted with this illness. I also voted to pass H.Con.Res.30, a bill supporting the goals and ideals of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
My deep concern for this issue has led me to co-sponsor a number of bills regarding HIV/AIDS. In the 108th Congress, I was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 3859, the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), which would allow more people who are HIV-positive to receive earlier access to treatment. I was also a co-sponsor of H.R. 4792, the New United States Global HIV Prevention Strategy to Address the Needs of Women and Girls Act of 2004, which called for the establishment of an efficient and effective HIV prevention strategy to be used for each country that the United States assists in battling HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis on the needs of women and girls. Last year I co-sponsored H.R. 1409, the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005, and H.R. 1413, the Women and Children in Crisis and Conflict Protection Act of 2005. The former, among other things, provides HIV/AIDS care assistance for those children, while the latter legislation helps protect these populations by providing them with health services that include the prevention of sexual violence and reduction of HIV transmission. I will continue to support programs such as these that provide vital services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS as well as initiatives that seek to prevent the spread of the disease.