A picture of Representative Donna M. Christensen
Donna C.
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    National Black Hiv/aids Awareness Day

    by Former Representative Donna M. Christensen

    Posted on 2013-02-06

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    CHRISTENSEN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Madam Speaker, tomorrow, February 7, is the 13th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

    We represent 14 percent of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, and account for 44 percent of all new infections. My district, the U.S. Virgin Islands, carries a disproportionate burden of this disease.

    From 2001 to 2005, the incidence of HIV infection in the territory increased by 19.4 percent, and has increased every year since 1998. In 2008, [[Page H376]] HRSA estimated the combined HIV infection rate of people living with AIDS in the territory to be 1 percent of our population. And CDC reports that the Virgin Islands has one of the highest newly identified confirmed HIV positivity rates among African Americans in this country.

    Most, if not all of us, know someone who is living with HIV or has died from AIDS. Today no one needs to die. Let's talk openly with our partners, family, and friends; let's get educated; let's get tested; and let's reduce stigma and discrimination.

    Tomorrow and every day, we will do more than commemorate those we have lost. We will rededicate ourselves to the work ahead. We can beat this disease. We can win this fight. Together, we can end this epidemic.


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