Washington, D.C. — “Each year on World AIDS Day, we remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and honor their memory by recommitting to the goal to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
“HIV/AIDS continues to exact a devastating toll on our nation and while we have made progress toward diminishing infections globally, there is a long road ahead before we ultimately defeat this disease.
“According to the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade and Broward County, respectively, rank one and two in the state for the number of new cases. Moreover, two ZIP codes in District 24 have the highest rates of infection nationwide.
“I am deeply concerned by disproportionately high HIV/Aids rates in low-income and African-American communities. In 2016, 47 percent of all AIDS diagnoses in the United States were given to African Americans and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention people in urban areas who live below the poverty line are twice as likely to become HIV-infected.
“Knowing your status is hugely important and instrumental to the effort to eradicate HIV/AIDS. That is why each year on National HIV Testing Day, I partner with Walgreens and several health clinics throughout Miami-Dade County to provide free HIV testing.
“Thanks to a bipartisan commitment to ending HIV/AIDS, the U.S. has saved 17 million lives through PEPFAR, and programs like the Ryan White Program and the Minority AIDS Initiative have enabled people with HIV to live longer than ever before. Still, we must do more to limit infections among these populations and I am eager to continue the fight in the 116th Congress to combat this devastating disease by building awareness, ending discrimination against those who suffer from HIV/AIDS and supporting efforts to find a cure.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded and chairs the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee.