Jenniffer González makes a call in a national forum to combat HIV /AIDS in a bipartisan way
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón participated today in a virtual conference with former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Jesse Milan, president and CEO of the AIDS United organization, to discuss the importance of continuing to work in a bipartisan way in Congress to end the HIV epidemic.
While serving as Co-Chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, the congresswoman has been committed to working in a bipartisan manner to advance legislation and educate citizens about it.
In March, the congresswoman signed the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act to eliminate discrimination against those living with HIV / AIDS and a work plan with the states to modernize federal laws, policies, and regulations. and state. Currently, 34 states and two U.S. territories have criminal statutes based on outdated information on HIV / AIDS. This measure would allow federal, state, and community stakeholders to work together to repeal laws targeting people living with HIV / AIDS unfairly in the United States.
Until 2018, in Puerto Rico, 49,639 cases of infection and 29,391 deaths had been reported, with the diagnosis prevailing mainly in men.
“During my career in public service, I have worked on health issues as a priority and this is no exception. Two new cases of HIV are reported on the island every day and approximately 9% of citizens who carry the virus have not been diagnosed. We must continue to work to advance legislation and federal funds to remedy this epidemic. I thank my friend Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and AIDS United for their commitment and work to continue educating on this issue that affects so many”, expressed González -Colón.
The congresswoman highlighted President Trump's 10-year initiative, Plan to End the HIV Epidemic (EHE) HIV, which he announced during his 2019 State of the Union address. EHE aims to reduce the number of new infections HIV in the United States by 75 percent in five years, and then by at least 90 percent in ten years, for an estimated time.
“We must ensure that EHE, now in its second year, is funded with no less than the $ 716 million requested in President Trump's fiscal year 2021 federal budget proposal while ensuring the continued support and increased funding for critical programs like Ryan White and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), ”he added.
The Congressional HIV / AIDS Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral space dedicated to serving as a clearinghouse for information on global and national HIV / AIDS developments. Founded in 2011 by Congressmen Barbara Lee, Trent Franks, and Jim McDermott to explore opportunities and support policy initiatives that help achieve an AIDS-free generation in the United States and around the world.