PRINTER'S NO. 2986
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
626
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY SIMS, KOSIEROWSKI, MERSKI, KINSEY, ISAACSON,
A. DAVIS, HILL-EVANS, MILLARD, BERNSTINE, ULLMAN, HENNESSEY,
CRUZ, RAVENSTAHL, OTTEN, DiGIROLAMO, YOUNGBLOOD, SCHLOSSBERG,
DAWKINS, FREEMAN, MURT, KORTZ, DONATUCCI, McNEILL, READSHAW,
SANCHEZ, DEASY, HOWARD, BIZZARRO AND WARREN, DECEMBER 9, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DECEMBER 9, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Recognizing December 1, 2019, as "World AIDS Day" in
Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, The World Health Organization established "World
AIDS Day" in 1988 to bring attention to the devastating impact
of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and remember those who have lost their
lives to the disease; and
WHEREAS, "World AIDS Day" is an opportunity to unite
individuals, organizations and local agencies across the world
to increase awareness and education about HIV/AIDS prevention,
treatment and care; and
WHEREAS, There are more than 37 million people living with
HIV/AIDS across the world, and more than 25 million people have
died from the epidemic in the past decade; and
WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimates that 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the
United States, with one in seven unaware of their infection; and
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WHEREAS, Populations at increased risk of HIV infection face
high levels of stigma due to their gender, sexual orientation,
gender identity, drug use or sex work; and
WHEREAS, Stigma toward people living with or at risk of HIV
discourages or delays the access of health care services,
including HIV prevention methods, HIV status testing, enrolling
in care and adhering to treatment; and
WHEREAS, In the United States, it is estimated that only 57%
of people living with HIV meet the national criteria for
continuous HIV medical care; and
WHEREAS, People living with HIV may not receive continuous
medical care for various reasons, including the cost of medical
care and HIV drugs, stigma, lack of stable housing and
transportation; and
WHEREAS, According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 90% of new HIV infections could be averted by
diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring that they receive
prompt, ongoing care and treatment; and
WHEREAS, The World AIDS Campaign was launched in 1997 by
UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, with the
mission of raising public awareness of HIV/AIDS and promoting
nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory access to HIV prevention,
treatment and care for all human beings; and
WHEREAS, For more than 20 years, UNAIDS has helped to
position, shape and scale up the response to HIV, encouraging
dialogue and bringing in communities that have been left out of
decision making; and
WHEREAS, The 2019 theme for "World AIDS Day" is "Ending the
HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community," signifying the
essential role of communities in taking a public health approach
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to providing medical care and support services to individuals
with HIV/AIDS and aligning with UNAIDS's promotion of a HIV/AIDS
response that is driven and delivered by communities; and
WHEREAS, It is imperative that all levels of government
recognize the various barriers that exist to HIV/AIDS
prevention, testing and care and continue to make efforts to
combat stigma and discrimination in order to improve health
outcomes for people living with HIV; and
WHEREAS, New HIV diagnoses continue at far too high a level,
with 38,739 Americans diagnosed with HIV in 2017; and
WHEREAS, Although the estimated number of annual HIV
infections in the United States declined 9% between 2010 and
2016, HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect various
populations and diagnoses are not evenly distributed across
states and regions; and
WHEREAS, As of 2017, Pennsylvania is ranked 9th highest in
the United States in cumulative reported HIV diagnoses, with the
percentage of new HIV cases being highest among those 20 to 29
years of age; and
WHEREAS, Every year on December 1 and throughout the month of
December, individuals and organizations across the world speak
out against the stigma and discrimination against individuals
with HIV/AIDS, and call for an increased response to move
forward to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives remind the public
and government of the ongoing global challenges associated with
eradicating HIV and the essential role that communities have
played in the AIDS response at the international, national and
local levels; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives join other states
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and countries around the world in recognizing December 1, 2019,
as "World AIDS Day" in an effort to increase awareness, provide
education about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate compassion for those
affected.
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