September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011
The Bicameral Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. We hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the start of the new HIV/AIDS caucus in Washington, DC. Well today I would like to do an update blog so you know the latest information about the new caucus.

Barbara Lee is the Co-Chair along with Jim McDermot and Trent Franks.

AIDS remains one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. An estimated 33.4 million people live with HIV/AIDS and more than 25 million people have died since 1981. Worldwide, an estimated 2.6 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2009, and in the United States, someone is newly infected with HIV every 9.5 minutes.

Despite the severity of the challenge, the unprecedented global response to AIDS has passed important milestones, dramatically expanding access to prevention, care, and treatment. Thanks to bipartisan efforts in Congress, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) have reduced the burden of HIV and AIDS in numerous countries and have put us on track to eliminating pediatric AIDS. Within the United States, through initiatives like the Ryan White CARE Act and the development of a National HIV/AIDS Strategy, we are poised to put HIV and AIDS on the long term road to elimination.

The Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus (formerly the Congressional Task Force on International HIV/AIDS) was created to examine methods by which the United States can maintain global leadership in the response to the epidemic.

In the 112th Congress, the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus will explore five thematic areas:

· Implementation of the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy

· Financing for Bilateral and Multilateral HIV/AIDS programs

· The state of HIV/AIDS research

· The role of Faith Based Organizations

· The 2012 International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington, D.C.

Members of the Caucus will receive advance notification of HIV/AIDS related activities and developments, including Member roundtables, staff roundtables, briefings and events.

To join the Caucus or for more information please contact Jirair Ratevosian (Lee) 202-225-2661, Andrew Adair (McDermott) 202-225-3106 or Stephanie Hammond (Franks) 202-225-4576.

The Following Members of Congress have already joined the Caucus:

House Members (60):

Barbara Lee (CA); Jim McDermott (WA); Barney Franks (MA); Madeleine Bordallo (GU); Robert Brady (PA); Michael Capuano (MA); Donna Christensen (VI); Steve Cohen (TN); John Conyers Jr. (MI); Eliot Engel (NY); Maurice Hinchey (NY); Jerold Nadler (NY); Donald Payne (NJ); Mike Quigley (IL); John Olver (MA); Charles Rangel (NY); Edolphus Towns (NY); G.K. Butterfield (NC); Elijah Cummings (MD); Albio Sires (NJ); Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ); Janice Schakowsky (IL); Maxine Waters (CA); Bobby Rush (IL); Alcee Hastings (FL); Raúl Grijalva (AZ); Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC); Bobby Scott (VA); Karen Bass (CA); Luis Gutierrez (IL); David Cicilline (RI); John Lewis (GA); Hank Johnson (GA); Henry Waxman (CA); Hansen Clarke (MI); Judy Chu (CA); Melvin Watt (NC); Michael Honda (CA); Nancy Pelosi (CA); Bruce Braley (IA); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL); Corrine Brown (FL); Carolyn Maloney (NY); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL); James Himes (CT); Howard Berman (CA); Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA); Theodore Deutch (FL); Tammy Baldwin (WI); Kathy Castor (FL); Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL); John Carter (TX); David McKinley (WV); Frederica Wilson (FL); José Serrano (NY); Linda Sanchez (CA); Charles Gonzales (TX); Jackie Speier (CA); Steven Rothman (NJ); Adam Schiff (CA)

Senate Members (1):

John Boozman (AR)

So now you have the update. I was glad to see several of our elected officials in Florida on the caucus. What about yours? If you do not see them on the list, call or email and ask them why not!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab