Log Cabin Republicans Applaud Signing of President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Renewed Commitment Needed for Domestic HIV/AIDS Fight
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans applaud President George W. Bush today for signing the re-authorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The legislation has provided critical assistance to the regions of the world hit hardest by HIV/AIDS and has given life-saving medications to those most in need.
"We applaud the president for his commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon, who attended the PEPFAR signing ceremony at the White House.
"President Bush has done tremendous work to combat this disease globally and that deserves to be an important part of his legacy," said Dr. David Reznik, Log Cabin's HIV/AIDS policy consultant. "This legislation will continue the dramatic improvements in the lives of millions of people living with this disease."
"While this is a monumental achievement in the global fight against AIDS, we also know the stark reality of this disease here at home," said Reznik. "Political leaders from both parties must lead a renewed effort to combat the devastating effects of this disease in our country."
Recent numbers confirm an alarming trend of rising HIV/AIDS cases in America. The disease is hitting African-Americans particularly hard. 1 out of 2 Americans with HIV is black. New HIV infection rates are rising among African American women and gay men.
"The U.S. has led the way in fighting this disease in the farthest edges of the world, but we are not doing enough here at home," said Sammon. "We have an obligation to confront this problem head-on and we hope that President Bush, Sen. McCain, and Sen. Obama will show the same commitment to fighting the disease here in the U.S. that has been shown around the world."
PEPFAR re-authorization also included a long-overdue repeal of the draconian ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants. The ban was first implemented during the earliest years of the disease when fear and stigma drove public policy. It placed the U.S. in a short and undistinguished list of countries that discriminated against those with living with this disease.
Log Cabin worked as part of a bipartisan coalition lobbying Congress for passage of PEPFAR-and to make sure the repeal of the HIV travel ban was included in the final bill. Log Cabin ally Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) was a co-sponsor of the HIV travel ban repeal and has been a consistent leader on HIV/AIDS issues.