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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 196 (Friday, December 1, 2017)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1641-E1642]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                      IN SUPPORT OF WORLD AIDS DAY


                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, December 1, 2017

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, established by the World Health Organization in 1988, December 1st is universally known as World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

All governments, national AIDS programs, churches, community organizations and individuals are given the opportunity to display their commitment to fight this deadly disease.

It has been more than 30 years since the first AIDS case was reported in the United States.

It does not seem like it was too long ago, but HIV/AIDS had affected many around the world before the disease even made its way to America's shores.

Since then, countless researchers, healthcare providers, politicians, and educators have contributed to the global initiative to contain and eventually eliminate its presence in all corners of the world.

Although HIV/AIDS is no longer a mysterious and mischaracterized entity, it is the most relentless and indiscriminate killer of our time. [[Page E1642]]

And though a diagnosis is no longer the sealing of an immediate fate, it is the beginning of an indefinite battle for life, adequate health care, and for social belonging.

With an estimated 38.6 million people worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2005, and more than 25 million people having died of AIDS since 1981, December 1st is a date which serves to remind everyone that action makes a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Let there be no mistake, we are here to acknowledge that AIDS is a deadly enemy against which we must join all our forces to fight and eliminate.

Americans should be reminded that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.

With an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 HIV-positive individuals living in the U.S., and approximately 56,000 new infections occurring every year, the U.S., like other nations around the world is deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.

The detrimental effects of HIV/AIDS have also hit home. More than 65,000 people in Texas are living with HIV.

Thirty-six percent more Texans are living with HIV today than just seven years ago. In 2010, studies showed that 1 in every 3 diagnosed persons in Texas were not getting proper medical treatment.

We must make certain that every affected individual receives efficient medical treatment that will afford them long life.

Not only is the state of Texas suffering from HIV and AIDS, but my district, the 18th Congressional District of Texas, has seen an increasing number of people living with the disease.

In 2010, there were over 22,000 reported persons living with HIV (non-AIDS) in the greater Houston area, and more than 9,000 reported persons living with AIDS.

This problem continues to escalate as there have been 1,700 new infections each year among individuals in Harris County, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities.

We must continue to fight a tough fight to reverse all of these costly and tragic trends.

I will continue to sponsor and co-sponsor legislation that addresses the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The fight is not over.

We must continue to stand strong in our struggle to conquer some old and new challenges that we as Americans and members of the global community encounter.

Today, Friday, December 1st is World AIDS Day.

And, we will focus on HIV/AIDS, prevention and awareness, and continue to fight for life.

Together, we will help all of our friends, relatives, and children live healthy and full lives. ____________________

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