Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 16, 2005

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Two-Year Review of Hyde-Lantos AIDS Bill
Wednesday Hearing Details Vulnerabilities in U.S. Response

BACKGROUND: With passage of the Hyde-Lantos Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, the United States is taking the lead in this global fight, rallying the world to reduce HIV transmissions and to save the lives of those who have AIDS.  The United States is providing $2.8 billion this year and will likely add $3.2 billion next year in funding for prevention education and treatment programs.  Despite this commitment, AIDS is proving to be an elusive and moving target, and its defeat will require closing gaps that have arisen during the battle.  First, a significant, yet underreported, number of women and girls are being infected in environments of sexual violence or coercion.  Expanding programs to correct or prevent violent and coercive behaviors and environments must be urgently examined and implemented.  Second, the World Health Organization notes that Africa has 14 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the global AIDS burden, but only slightly more than one percent of the world’s health care workers. The severe lack of health care professionals and technical workers is the single greatest impediment to treating the millions who need it—a far greater bottleneck than the purchase of antiretroviral drugs.  Finally, the best defense for preventing HIV transmission is practicing Abstinence and Being mutually faithful to a non-infected partner.  This “A” and “B,” combined with the “C” of Condoms, form the “ABC” approach, the essential foundation for HIV prevention.  However, organizations best suited to promote A and B programs, such as faith-based and indigenous organizations, are often, unfortunately, not the ones implementing these programs.  Ensuring the roles of these organizations will be important in fighting the global pandemic.                                                                                               

WHAT: Full Committee Oversight Hearing:  U.S. Response to Global AIDS Crisis:  A Two-Year Review, U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman

WHEN:  10:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2005

WHERE:  Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: Panel I: Randall L. Tobias, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State; Panel II: Jack Valenti, President of Friends of the Global Fight and former President of the Motion Picture Association of America; Panel III: Geeta Rao Gupta, Ph.D., President of the International Center for Research on Women; Martin Ssempa, Director of the Makerere Youth Ministry in Uganda and Representative to the Ugandan First Lady’s Task Force on AIDS; and Holly Burkhalter, U.S. Policy Director, Physicians for Human Rights.

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