Rep. Payne, Jr., Commemorates World AIDS Day and Urges Congress to Increase Funding for Health Programs

Dec 1, 2017 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), a leader on men’s health issues, issued the following statement recognizing World AIDS Day:

“Today is the twenty-ninth World AIDS Day. Let us commemorate those who lost their lives and commit to reducing the number of new HIV infections that occur each year in the United States.

“In my hometown of Newark, New Jersey, new HIV cases have been rising among young people under the age of twenty-five. Experts link the rise in new HIV-AIDS cases among young people in Newark to the opioid crisis. A similar pattern is playing out across the country: areas affected by the opioid crisis and intravenous drug use are disproportionately vulnerable to new HIV infections.

“There has been a lot of discussion lately about the opioid crisis, but most of the talk focuses on rural America. We cannot lose sight of the fact that the opioid crisis is inseparable from other social issues — including health care access, mental health treatment, public health, poverty, and joblessness.

“Congress can help end the opioid crisis and the HIV-AIDS crisis here in the United States. To do that, we must increase funding for health care access, mental health treatment, anti-poverty programs, disease control, education, and access to HIV PrEP medication, which greatly reduces a person’s chances of becoming infected.

“On World AIDS Day, we should address the interconnected challenges that have complicated our fight against HIV and AIDS, protect Americans’ health care, provide increased access to mental health, and expand programs that combat the disease on all fronts.” 

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