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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Caucus co-chaired by González Colón recognized for fighting HIV/AIDS


Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón

By The Star Staff


Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) accepted the Hero Award this week on behalf of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus for their work in understanding and countering HIV and AIDS around the world through policy and other initiatives.


“These efforts have been transformative, and we owe this incredible progress to countless scientists and researchers, and advocates like you,” González Colón said. “I humbly accept as a promise to you to continue our fight against HIV and AIDS.”


The caucus was recognized by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) for its resilience, on both sides of the aisle, to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad.


“This year, I look forward to continuing building on the progress we have made, especially on EGPAF,” González Colón added. “Reducing new HIV infections in children -- more than 5.5 million -- is one of PEPFAR’s [U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] greatest accomplishments.”


Puerto Rico has the nation’s 12th highest rate of new HIV diagnoses, and close to 50,000 reported AIDS cases with 59% resulting in death.


González Colón has served as co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus since 2019.


She has supported funding to HIV programs that have reached communities in Puerto Rico; assembled organizations and agencies on the island to discuss common goals, challenges and initiatives to address the Island’s high number of HIV diagnoses; introduced legislation to raise awareness and to eliminate discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS; and participated in forums and briefings to give the issue national visibility and stress urgency on the matter.


Last year, González Colón received the National Minority AIDS Council’s Hill Champion Award for her commitment to fighting toward achieving an AIDS-free generation.


The award was presented to González Colón and Lee by Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the EGPAF at the organization’s 35th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.

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