In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey, who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), and David N. Cicilline (RI-01) yesterday, June 30, congratulated John Nkengasong on his recent confirmation as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
The lawmakers urged Ambassador Nkengasong to ensure that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is broadened to prioritize the health and rights of LGBTQI+ persons in PEPFAR planning and programs in order to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex populations disproportionately harmed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“The lack of a Senate-confirmed ambassador focused solely on PEPFAR programs for over two years has limited the United States’ ability to make meaningful and long-term commitments to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) populations most at risk of acquiring HIV,” the lawmakers wrote. “We urge you to bolster funding and diplomatic commitments as well as look into broadening the scope of PEPFAR programs to actively promote LGBTQI+ rights globally.”
“Additional efforts need to be made to rebuild partnerships and community trust to ensure comprehensive care and information reaches all people who need it,” the lawmakers continued. “It is only by reaching the most vulnerable and most marginalized, including those in the LGBTQI+ community, that we will be able to secure a world free from AIDS. We look forward to partnering with you to ensure that our PEPFAR programs protect, promote, and advance the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in line with President Biden’s vision for our global engagement.”
Read the full text of the letter HERE.