Quigley, Hanna Urge Use of Evidence Based HIV Prevention
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Richard Hanna (NY-22) released a bipartisan letter with 21 other colleagues to urge Ambassador Deborah Birx at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to continue prioritizing evidence based HIV prevention to help control the AIDS epidemic.
“We are writing to commend you on your leadership as Global AIDS Coordinator over the last year, and urge a deep and continued commitment to the prevention of HIV infection as a core aspect of PEPFAR and the promise of an AIDS-free generation,” wrote the members. “As you finalize targets as requested under the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013, we ask that you include strong targets that cover the biomedical, behavioral, and structural aspects of HIV prevention, in addition to treatment and care.”
“As PEPFAR focuses more on controlling the AIDS epidemic and delivering on the promise of an AIDS-free generation, preventing transmission is increasingly important,” said Rep. Quigley. “This dream can become a reality if PEPFAR takes advantage of existing family planning infrastructure, prevents mother-to-child transmission, and strengthens health systems to ensure that their progress is sustainable.”
“I am pleased to see the U.S. take the lead globally to work toward preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Rep. Hanna. “Together, we can work to create an AIDS-free generation and it is a dream I hope we can one day realize.”
This letter comes in advance of a pending announcement from The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on their new goals for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator's mission is to lead implementation of PEPFAR, which is the U.S. government’s initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum.
Since his election to Congress in 2009, Rep. Quigley has been a tireless advocate for helping prevent the flow of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and around the globe. In January 2014, he became an original cosponsor of the International Human Rights Defense Act. In 2013, Rep. Quigley passed an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill which increased funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program by $3 million. He also joined with other Illinois delegation members in a letter to President Obama, urging him to protect federal funding for syringe exchange programs that are vital in the fight against HIV and AIDS. In some of his first months in Congress, Rep. Quigley spoke out against the HIV Travel Ban on the House floor and also wrote a letter calling for its end that was signed by members of the Illinois Congressional delegation and sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.