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Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of House Financial Services Committee, reintroduced the Stop AIDS in Prison Act in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow, February 7th. The bill is now H.R. 768 and has 23 original cosponsors.
“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day to remember that African Americans have been severely and disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS; blacks have the highest rate of new HIV infections and the highest death rate due to AIDS,” said Congresswoman Waters. “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is also a day to remember that we need to take the threat of HIV/AIDS seriously and confront it in every institution of our society – that includes our nation’s prisons.”
African Americans comprise a disproportionate share of the country’s incarcerated population. Compounding this problem, the rate of confirmed AIDS cases in prisons is 2.5 times higher than the rate in the general population according to the data from the Department of Justice. The Stop AIDS in Prison Act addresses this issue by requiring the Federal Bureau of Prisons to develop a comprehensive policy to provide HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment for inmates in federal prisons.
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