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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California


August 5, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Mr. Speaker, recent estimates indicate that there are 40,000 new AIDS infections each year in the United States.

African American men and women were disproportionately overrepresented among new AIDS diagnoses in 2004. African American women accounted for 67 percent of new AIDS diagnoses among women; and African American men accounted for nearly half, 44 percent, of new AIDS diagnoses among men. Today, African American women represent a staggering 71 percent of all the AIDS diagnoses among women.

Though African Americans comprised 17 percent of the teenage population, age 13 to 19 years of age, by the end of 2004, they represented 70 percent of all the HIV/AIDS cases among teenagers, age 13 to 19 years of age. Just more than one in ten, 13 percent and 15 percent, were represented by Latino and whites respectively in the same age groups.

The Congressional Black Caucus has decided that we are going to increase our efforts. Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Congressional Black Caucus has and will continue to assume a leadership role in addressing the issue through AIDS education and other actions. We are increasing our efforts to insist on personal responsibility, mandatory testing, outreach and education, advocating for increased funding, more legislation.

I have introduced H.R. 6038. This is a bill that would require routine testing of those entering prison, with counseling and treatment and referrals and follow-ups for those who are leaving.