May 2015

Bipartisan Support Drives Resolution to End AIDS in Children

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Today Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with 10 other co-sponsors recommitted the U.S. to lead the fight to end pediatric AIDS by introducing H. Res 265: Recognizing the importance of a continued commitment to ending pediatric AIDS worldwide.

This resolution highlights the important role that U.S. leadership has played in the reduction of new HIV infections in children—an over 50 percent drop since 2001. But it also points out that children still fall woefully behind in terms of treatment coverage, and that current political commitments to ending pediatric AIDS are coming to a close. As our CEO Chip Lyons stated today: “These statistics tell a clear story of the state of pediatric AIDS around the world: in the midst of great progress there is still so much work to be done and many hardships to overcome. Together, we can rewrite this story for the children, mothers, and families affected by the AIDS epidemic. We can ensure that the ending is a happy one.”

We know how to reach children and their mothers and families, but without political leadership and support this population will be left behind. The launch of the Global Plan to eliminate new pediatric HIV infections helped to dramatically scale up prevention of mother-child-transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. And the recent Accelerating Children’s Treatment Initiative (ACT) is working to dramatically increase the number of HIV positive children accessing treatment—with far fewer children dying from the disease.

Congresswomen Ros-Lehtinen and Lee and their co-sponsors are critical partners as we “rewrite this story.” In their recent joint opinion piece in The Hill, the Congresswomen noted “continued bipartisan leadership will be essential to further scale-up treatment for children to keep them living well beyond five years. Equally important is that mothers have access to the care they need to ensure their children are born HIV-free and that they remain healthy themselves.”

By introducing this resolution, these Members of Congress are sending a signal that Congress is not bowing out in the fight against pediatric AIDS, but instead doubling down to bring the world to the point where no child dies of AIDS. Your member of Congress can commit as well—ask them today to co-sponsor H. Res 265 and lend their voice to this important fight.