WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a senior member of the Subcommittee on Health for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, commemorated World AIDS Day today and called for renewed commitment to combat HIV/AIDS:

“As we mark World AIDS Day, we remember those we have lost, celebrate the progress we have made, and renew our commitment to eradicating this illness.  We have taken significant strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS: since the year 2000, new HIV infections fell by 35 percent, AIDS-related deaths decreased by 24 percent, and nearly 16 million people living with HIV have received antiretroviral therapy.  The United States has been a leader in this fight.  PEPFAR has made lifesaving treatment available to nearly eight million people and allowed one million infants with HIV-positive mothers to be born free of this disease.  I’m proud of this work, but we have a long way to go.  More than a million people died from AIDS last year, and more than 5,000 contract HIV each day.  So while we take stock of our achievements, we need to get back to the hard work and stay focused on our goal of an AIDS-free generation.”

In September 2013, Rep. Engel introduced the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act (H.R.3177), which extended key aspects of the President’s PEPFAR program for five years.  President Obama signed identical legislation (S.1545) into law a day after World AIDS Day 2013.