Sen. Durbin Launches Bipartisan, Bi-Cameral Global AIDS Emergency Task Force To Strengthen U.S. Response to Pandemic
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) yesterday announced the launch of a bipartisan, bi-cameral Global AIDS Emergency Task Force to offer an "effective forum" for lawmakers to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and "help shape and strengthen" global HIV/AIDS initiatives, according to a Durbin release. The task force, of which 32 lawmaker are currently members, is "a growing coalition," according to the release. Durbin said that the primary goals of the task force are to educate members of Congress about HIV/AIDS and the "most effective responses" to the epidemic; develop a congressional strategy to "maximize our nation's impact" in the fight against the disease; and join with lawmakers around the world in the "common effort to meet this challenge." Durbin said, "Today's reality is a world in which geographic borders pose no barrier to disease," adding that President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has "defined a starting point in the global fight against AIDS, and it is my hope that this new Task Force will be an effective forum to build on and further shape that commitment." Durbin also said that with the Senate expected to take up the House-passed global AIDS bill (HR 1298) next week, the task force would be able to "play an integral role in addressing central issues of debate" (Durbin release, 5/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.