1:49 PM EDT
Jesse Jackson Jr., D-IL 2nd

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, let me first thank my friend from Georgia (Mr. Bishop) for his remarks and for his leadership in bringing this topic to the attention of our colleagues. I would also like to recognize the timeliness of his comments, as National HIV Testing Day is on June 27.

The gravity of this issue cannot be understated, and I hope to work with Mr. Bishop and lend my support to address the veterans who suffer from this interminable disease. [Page: H6541]

Chicago is the epicenter of HIV/AIDS in Illinois. Roughly 70 percent of reported AIDS cases in the State are in Chicago. Minorities account for approximately 69 percent of the city's total population, but represent 81 percent recently diagnosed AIDS cases. Minorities constitute 20 percent of veterans in Illinois; yet the trend of HIV/AIDS among the State population and the higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS among veterans in general demonstrates minority veterans are disproportionately affected by

this disease.

HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact on veterans across the country. Combating the spread of this disease through testing and education is not only important to our communities, but vital for the health of all Americans.

I want to thank the chairman for yielding me the time and thank Mr. Bishop for his leadership.