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9598: Cong. Carrie P. Meek addresses Congress on AIDS & AID in Haiti (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

One Minute Statement of U.S. Rep. Carrie P. Meek 
re: HIV AIDS Crisis and Haiti 

Mr. Speaker, according to the World Bank, more than half a million people are 
living with HIV/AIDS in the Carribean region and the prevalence among adults 
ages 15-49 has reached two percent. In Haiti, the situation is dramatically 
worse. Estimates reach as high as 12 percent for the urban population and 5 
percent for the rural population.  

The epidemic has spread beyond the high-risk population to the general 
population. The challenge for the region is to learn from the experience of 
African countries and act decisively to prevent the epidemic from spreading 
further. HIV/AIDS is more than just a health problem, it is a major 
development challenge. The AIDS epidemic is placing tremendous burdens on 
health care systems and on the labor force. Today 83% of AIDS cases in the 
Carribean are in the age group 15 to 54 years- the labor force. 

Mr. Speaker, a regional strategic plan is in place to reduce the spread and 
impact of the epidemic in Haiti and throughout the Carribean, but Haiti 
desperately needs the financial support of the United States, the World Bank 
and the international community to implement it.  

Mr. Speaker, Haiti has made considerable progress politically. It is now 
meeting virtually all of the conditions established by the United States for 
receipt of further financial aid. We must not allow technical barriers to 
stand in the way of addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in Haiti. Haiti needs our 
help and it needs it now. Let*s do the right thing and help Haiti address the 
suffering caused by HIV/AIDS.  end

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