FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melissa Baker
Statement on President Obama’s State of the Union Address and HIV/AIDS
(January 13, 2016, New York, NY) – The following statement is from C. Virginia Fields, president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA):
“We at the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS congratulate President Barack Obama on the delivery of his final address to Congress and the nation on the State of the Union.
“We share the hope he expressed when he said, ‘Right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS.’ Still, we know much work has to be done to stay on track to end the epidemic. More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection; and despite advances in treatment and prevention, African Americans are infected with HIV at eight times the rate of white Americans. This disparity must be eliminated as soon as possible.
“Among the accomplishments factoring into President Obama’s statement about HIV/AIDS are the passing of the Affordable Care Act and the establishment of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
“The Affordable Care Act has already expanded coverage to millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions such as HIV/AIDS. It has also broadened eligibility requirements for Medicaid, which is the single-largest payer of HIV care in the United States.
“Meanwhile, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was established in 2010, and extended to 2020 last year. The aim of the plan is to make America a place where ‘new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.’
“These are goals that we support at NBLCA, and we encourage voters in the 2016 presidential elections to consider where the candidates stand on health care and addressing the epidemic of HIV/AIDS when they cast their votes.”
Register for free to attend the State of HIV in Black America forum on Feb. 4 in New York City.
The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc., (NBLCA) is a 501c3, not for profit organization with a mission to educate, mobilize, and empower Black leaders to meet the challenge of fighting HIV/AIDS and other health disparities in their local communities. Founded in 1987, and headquartered in New York City, NBLCA is the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the United States.