Saturday, July 28, 2012

She speaks for me

The world's largest AIDS conference (22,000 people) met in the United States for the first time in 22 years this week after President Obama lifted travel restriction on HIV positive people allowing the conference to be held here. However travel bans were still in place on foreign sex workers, under laws passed two centuries ago. This led to several disruptions at the conference as protesters brought attention to the absence of one of the key groups in stopping the epidemic.

Barbara Lee ( U.S. Representative for California's 9th congressional district - most famous for being the only member of either house of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11 attacks) was instrumental in getting the travel ban on HIV patients lifted and last week introduced a proposed law in the House of Representatives to do the same for sex workers.

"I don't know how we're going to ever see an end to AIDS in our lifetime -- and we believe we can, especially with scientific advances -- and have an AIDS-free generation, without including all of those populations who must be involved as part of this solution." U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

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